Construction of new Hawke's Bay houses appears to be tailing off, with industry experts saying a lack of land is holding the sector back.
Figures released from Statistics NZ showed a decrease in the number of building consents issued last month.
There were 53 building consents issued in June and 46 in July.
Since July 2016, this number had increased only by one. Yet, the value of new dwellings consented had decreased by 21 per cent.
Tremain Real Estate and Commercial managing director Simon Tremain said the numbers were likely to remain similar in the next year as well.
"The reality is, there's not a lot of land available," he said.
"First home buyers are finding new homes expensive, and buyers are getting choosy. So the consent numbers will be relatively similar to what's happening right now."
He said the number of existing homes, which normally sat around 200-250, dropped this year.
"But that's because there are not as many properties on the market, and a lack of land."
There weren't as many new homes built either but there was a high demand for sections and new subdivisions, particularly in places such as Parklands in Napier, and Northwood in Hastings.
House prices moved up, and there was an increased demand for fully insulated houses.
Scott Taylor of Design Builders and president of the Master Builders' Association said the situation had left builders "flat out" refitting existing housing stock.
"Renovations are definitely on the up due to lack of affordable and available land in Hawke's Bay, and the spike in values of houses sold," he said.
The number of new dwellings in Napier had significantly decreased, going from 30 in June to 9 in July.
Hastings, on the other hand, experienced a slight increase, going from 21 in June to 23 in July.
Both months' statistics were lower than May, when Napier had 36 new dwellings and Hastings 30.
Since May, the value of Hawke's Bay's building consents dropped by nearly half, going from $29 million to $15m.
This decrease was also reflected in the overall New Zealand numbers.
Year ended 2017, the national number of new dwellings consented was 2762. This has also gone down as the national number in July 2016 was 2811.