The Hawke's Bay property market has taken a dive in new listings while the building industry flatlines.
Figures released yesterday by industry website Realestate.co.nz show asking prices in April dropped just 1.1 per cent from March, while the main centres set price records, but the number of new listing in Hawke's Bay dropped by 24.4 per cent.
Real Estate agency owner Simon Tremain said he was expecting the lack of supply to transfer to higher prices, but Hawke's Bay buyers seemed to be in no rush to make a decision.
"We are expecting the prices to move," he said.
"We have certainly seeing a lot more activity - properties that have been around for a long time are now selling.
"We're feeling pretty confident about the market.
"The volume of sales though, because of the lack of supply, is not flying.
"When the market was flying there were 300 sales in Napier/Hastings per month. When the market was terrible there were 100 and now there is roughly 200."
Hawke's Bay Registered Master Builders Association president Gordon Sanson said the residential building industry was closely tied to the residential real estate market.
"You can almost get the real estate sales chart and overlay the building consent chart and the patterns match," he said.
"There is a few months differential but it is the same. If there are a good few months in real estate then we can expect a good few months in real estate further down the track."
Whether the industry could cope with an upturn was "the biggest question" because so many had downsized, left the industry or left Hawke's Bay.
"Generally the industry is made up of smaller-sized businesses and over the last five years have downsized as much as they can.
"A few are considering hiring staff, but are reluctant until there is regular growth.
"Some have chosen to work longer hours until regular growth comes along. The good side to that is it won't take much of an upturn for employment to turn around."
The average asking price for properties around New Zealand reached a new all time high in April.
It rose to to $447,275. The previous high, set in November, was $446, 277. Auckland set a new high of $612,167. Hawke's Bay's asking price was $350,408, down 1.1 per cent from March.