Hawke's Bay's hot property market

By Victoria White -
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Hawke's Bay property prices have risen 15.3 per cent in the year to February 2016 - 6.3 per cent above the national change of 9 per cent. Photo / Warren Buckland
Hawke's Bay property prices have risen 15.3 per cent in the year to February 2016 - 6.3 per cent above the national change of 9 per cent. Photo / Warren Buckland

Hawke's Bay is leading the charge with New Zealand's highest property asking-price increase in the past year.

Yesterday the Trade Me property index revealed Hawke's Bay property prices had risen 15.3 per cent in the year to February 2016 - 6.3 per cent above the national change of 9 per cent.

Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said the hesitancy over recent months had been "washed out" of the property market.

"In summer the market took its foot off the gas, but as we anticipated it looks to be back on track. While not hitting any record highs, the average asking price nationwide is up more than $45,000 on a year ago."

Cox Partners Real Estate managing director Malcolm Cox said the index's data was drawing from a smaller pool of mostly private sellers, so the price could be inflated.

However, the figures did align with other data, and he said there had definitely been a shift in the expectations of sellers.

Bayleys Havelock North sales manager Daniel Moffitt said the figures were an accurate reflection, because of the pressure from out-of-town buyers and lack of listings in the region.

Their agency had been receiving interest from multiple buyers for each property, and selling some in less than a week which was "just incredible".

Tremains real estate managing director Simon Tremain said all the factors for the region were "seriously stacking up".

The region was not as affected by the downturn in dairy, was experiencing record highs in tourist numbers, and seeing more migration.

"Hawke's Bay is a great place for people to come and live and raise their kids, and people are starting to see that," he said.

REINZ figures for February also revealed the median house price in the region had increased by $50,000 to $330,000 in only six months.

"That's $50,000 in capital gain", Mr Tremain said, "and the market has got a lot more movement in it."

Property Brokers regional manager Paul Whitaker said they had seen, on average, a 20 per cent lift across the region over the past year.

This was due to increased buyer demand and a low volume of properties for sale, he said. "As well as the spillover of people leaving Auckland."

When asked if he thought this would continue, Mr Whitaker said: "There's still some momentum left in the property market yet."

Changes to home loan lending criteria in October had altered the property-for-sale market across the nation.

Average asking prices in the three months to February had increased by 1.6 per cent on last month and 9 per cent on a year ago, landing at $550,600.

Mr Jeffries said: "Outside of the City of Sails, house buyers can expect to pay $20,000 more than they did a year ago for a typical property."

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