"Mission Bay's ideal location and mix of city and coastal lifestyles make it a very desirable and high-end suburb. We've seen this demand push prices up across the board, and have also been involved in a greater number of high-value, multi-million dollar property sales," said Andy MacDonald, Barfoot & Thompson Mission Bay branch manager.
In second place was Mangawhai Heads, on the northern fringes of Auckland. There, prices were up 56 per cent to $655,000, while central suburbs Grey Lynn (up 48 per cent to $1.5m), One Tree Hill (up 40 per cent to $1.26m) and Royal Oak (up 36 per cent to$1.14m ) round out the top five.
Mangawhai branch manager Saull Hinton said the Mangawhai Heads area had been discovered by both baby-boomers looking for a lifestyle change and young people looking for a foothold in the market.
"There appear to be two distinct groups of buyers – those cashing out of Auckland to escape the traffic and enjoy a greater sense of community, and first-timers attracted by the affordability and growth potential here."
Some were commuting into the city, he said.
"This is one of our most diverse lists yet," said Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson.
"Most of the suburbs, 16 of 20, are new to the top 20 with a spread of locations from Rodney to Franklin and median prices from the mid $500,000s to over $2m.
"There has also been a rise in the number of outer suburbs placing on the list, such as Mangawhai Heads and Orewa in the north, and Weymouth, Waiuku and Tuakau to the south.
"Buyers have been attracted to these areas by their more affordable pricing and lifestyle aspects, while still being within a commutable distance to Auckland business centres like the North Shore and Manukau."
Thompson said the lists, released every six months, were particularly helpful in identifying price trends across the region, as well as at a suburb-by-suburb level.
"Alongside other data and salesperson expertise, the lists can help sellers identify where demand is strong, and can help buyers better judge value for money."
The list indicates the popular suburb of Grey Lynn is experiencing another round of value growth, having moved from near the bottom of the previous list with single-digit growth to the number three spot this time around.
"Development of nearby schools, residential blocks and entertainment precincts in the area is contributing to the price growth in this already popular neighbourhood."
Meanwhile many previously top performing suburbs dropped out of the top 20.
Tuakau, on the very fringes of Auckland, was benefiting from the city's "halo effect" as well as a surge in development in the area, said local Barfoot & Thompson branch manager Nick Bates.
"It's a more rural location that provides a peaceful, community lifestyle, but also the ability to commute to Manukau or the city."
One Tree Hill