'Huge month' for property sales in Bay

By Victoria White

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Hawke's Bay's property market is reaping in the glow of the "halo effect" raising house prices and driving sales around the country.

The latest Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures reported the number of sales in Hawke's Bay last month exceeded 300 for the first time since March 2007, and had risen by half compared to April 2015.

The median price rose $20,250, 7 per cent, compared with April 2015. Compared with March 2016 the median price rose $14,750, five per cent, with prices rising 23 per cent in Hawke's Bay Country, 8 per cent in Hastings and 7 per cent in Napier.

Tremains Real Estate director Simon Tremain said despite the market taking a "breather" in March, based on activity levels at the start of the year, they knew "April was going to be huge".

It was their biggest month with a record 104 sales made across their four offices.

"We're very positive going forward, there are no real indicators that we're slowing down," he said.

Leaders managing director Elanor MacDonald said the number of properties they had for sale was half what it had been in April last year, and "competition is fierce".

"Hardly any listings aren't getting multiple offers,"she said, "we're getting a reasonable difference on most listings."

The average spread was between $40,000 to $50,000 but a listing yesterday had a variation of $300,000.

Property Brokers regional manager Paul Whitaker said the large volume of sales was a cumulative effect, built on the momentum seen in the the property boom.

"That momentum will continue right through winter," he said, "with a shortage of stock across all areas, and all spectrums."

Properties were coming on to the market at half the rate of those selling, he said, creating a supply and demand imbalance. With less listed during winter this could shift "closer to the equilibrium".

REINZ reported sales volumes hit new levels and median house prices reached new highs across more regions of New Zealand than ever before.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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