House prices in Hawke's Bay still lag behind the market peak unlike the national average, according to the QV report for the three months to January.
QV's Residential Price Index for January shows property values in Hastings are up 1.4 per cent on last year but an average 6.6 per cent below the peak of April 2008. Napier values are up 0.5 per cent from a year ago and 6.7 per cent below the 2008 peak.
Values in both Napier and Hastings have shown little movement for a sustained period, says QV Valuer Bevan Pickett.
"The market is following similar trends to last year, but with a little more activity. Properties that are presented and priced well, particularly entry level properties, are selling quickly, however properties that will require additional work are not as popular. The market is optimistic although there is a scarcity of good quality listings."
Nationally, the index shows that residential values increased further in January. Values are up 1.5 per cent over the past three months, 6.2 per cent up over the past year, and 2.6 per cent above the previous market peak of late 2007.
QV.co.nz research director Jonno Ingerson said it had been a relatively strong start to the year for the property market, carrying on from the increased activity seen in late 2012.
"There has been plenty of buyer inquiry and sales activity throughout January at a time when people are usually still in holiday mode," he said.
"The increase in nationwide values is no longer solely being driven by Auckland and Canterbury. Over the last month or two values have also begun rising again in most of the other main cities and provincial centres. While the rate of value increase is not as fast as Auckland and Canterbury it does signal an increase in confidence across most of the country."
"The lack of properties for sale will continue to constrain sales volumes. The number of new listings coming on to the market has been fairly stable since 2009 and well below the levels seen at the peak of the market."