WELLINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) - New Zealand house prices increased 5.3% year on year in February to an average value of NZ$722,475 ($452,414), government valuer Quotable Value (QV) said on Wednesday.
* Pace increased from 4.4% growth in January
* Average values rose 1.2% year on year in Auckland
* Feb data confirms strength returning to Auckland market, according to QV. ($1 = 1.5969 New Zealand dollars)
Reporting by Praveen Menon Editing by Shri Navaratnam