Aucklanders' spending pushes up demand

By Patrick O'Sullivan

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REINZ figures show 30 per cent more Hastings houses were sold in March than for the same period last year while Napier volumes were up 18 per cent.
REINZ figures show 30 per cent more Hastings houses were sold in March than for the same period last year while Napier volumes were up 18 per cent.

Demand for Hawke's Bay houses continues to climb thanks to "Aucklanders offloading their millions".

REINZ figures show 30 per cent more Hastings houses were sold in March than for the same period last year while Napier volumes were up 18 per cent.

The region's median price was up $35,500 to $310,500 for the year to March but down $19,500 from February.

REINZ chief executive Colleen Milne said the fall followed a strong lift since November.

"Sales volume continues to be strong and the drop in the number of days to sell to its lowest level for March since 2004 is indicative of continuing tight listings across the region," she said.

"This sits alongside the Halo Effect of rising median prices that continues to spread from Auckland across the country, with record median prices in Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Nelson/Marlborough, Canterbury/Westland, and extraordinary growth in Central Otago Lakes."

Property Brokers regional manager Paul Whitaker said out-of-town buyers were becoming commonplace in Hawke's Bay.

"It is an ever-increasing trend of Aucklanders offloading their millions into the Hawke's Bay economy," he said.

Tremains Real Estate director Simon Tremain said Auckland clients wasted no time, making multiple purchases in one day.

"They fly in, buy a couple of investment properties, and fly out again - there is a lot more activity from Auckland," he said.

The fall in the March median price was "a blip on the radar", likely caused by the smaller Hawke's Bay market presenting more volatile figures month-to-month.

"This market will be continuing north, that's for sure."

His agency was well down on its long-term number of listings but was enjoying plenty of new ones.

"It is probably only when they get really short will we feel the real pinch come on."

Mr Whitaker said his agency had half its long-term number of listings but there was an equilibrium between properties listed and properties sold "which is contributing to a very buoyant market".

"Although our listing numbers are down the list-to-sale ratio has definitely increased," he said. "Some months now we are struggling to keep up with demand."

Winter may not be the usual quiet time for agents.

"I think there is some heat left in this market yet."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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