The fallout from the Auckland property boom is being felt in Central Hawke's Bay where activity is starting to mimic what was seen in 2008 when the market peaked, some local estate agents are saying.
Harcourts Waipukurau agent Michael Harding said tidy, quality properties that were reasonably priced were selling very quickly, almost as soon as they were listed.
"We are also finding we are often in multi-offer situations, and getting prices like we saw in 2008," he said.
"It would be fair to say lack of supply is putting pressure on remaining housing - in some cases people are not putting their house on the market because they don't have anywhere else to go."
Sections were also sought after by people wanting to build, and there was strong demand from rental investors, which was putting prices up for tenants, he added.
The prospect of the Ruataniwha dam being built in the area was something people were factoring in the back of their minds, he said.
"Regardless of the dam though the market is being driven by what's happening in Auckland and we are selling to a lot of Auckland buyers and investors."
Property Brokers Waipukurau sales manager Jane Hamilton concurred that a lot of the activity was coming from people outside of the region, and that the volume of sales was significantly up on this time last year.
"People in northern areas like Rotorua and Tauranga that are affected by the Auckland boom are spreading south.
"We also have a huge number of people moving from here from Hastings, Napier and Havelock North. They are getting such good prices up there, they are looking here and buying a better property than what they sold.
"There are a lot of people thinking Central Hawke's Bay is a go-ahead place."
Part of that was due to the likelihood of the dam going ahead, with investors coming in and buying property, she said.
"Fifty six per cent of the properties we have sold this year were to buyers from outside the district. This has led to a shortage in listings and it's pushing up rents."
It was good news for vendors, however, who were achieving above the asking price for their properties, she said.
"We have had a lot of tenders lately that have achieved above vendors' and agents' expectations.
"Values have definitely increased - a medium house that is going for $213,000 at the moment would have achieved $187,000 this time last year."
Dianne Ogilvie from Professionals said she was "flat out" at the moment, with at least 80 buyers on her books looking for property, and not enough stock to meet demand.
"They're looking everywhere between Otane and Takapau and houses are going quickly, particularly the good ones in the $150,000 to $300,000 price range."
She said people realised that if they sold well elsewhere they could get more bang for their buck when they bought in Central Hawke's Bay, leaving them more flexibility with their spending.
The fact demand was outstripping supply was a concern, she added.
"People need to be housed - it would be good if the council opened up more land so people could build," she said.