A combination of rapidly rising house prices and fears of a possible introduction of a capital gains tax, is pushing Central Hawke's Bay house-owners to sell-up and then re-buy with enough left over to renovate as well.

The Real Estate Institute's latest figures show property prices in Central Hawke's Bay last month were 77 per cent higher than in December 2016, as the median house price in the district rose to $310,000

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Mary Sammons said selling her property in Waipukurau recently helped her reinvest capital into rental properties in Whanganui and home-improvements for the family home.

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"Now was a good time to sell as the property had served its purposes for me. I relocated to Whanganui and had the home rented but with the market being so strong it made financial sense to release the capital in Waipukurau and reinvest in Whanganui.

"I became a homeowner at age 24 and was debt free by age 35, so consider I have always been well positioned on the property ladder.

"The advantage of selling at this time was to release capital to reinvest in our Wanganui properties. Our tenants enjoy modern upgraded homes, while our home is not up to the same standard.

"The ongoing legislative changes to landlord requirements, risk of P contamination, keeping up with routine maintenance etc make being an absentee landlord extremely difficult.

"Also the Labour policy to look into introducing capital gains tax meant now was a good time to exit the property and release capital into our own home upgrade, while remaining debt free."

Lin Blyth and her husband Pete moved into a lifestyle block in Waipawa last February before selling up to move into a villa in Otane.

"Prices are going up but we didn't sell for the money side of it, we sold it because I thought we'd taken on a little bit to much.

"We have a little bit left over to invest in the house because there is always something you want to do on your house.

"The house and the village in Otane seem a little more suitable for us."