Taihape, once considered a backwater, is attracting home buyers mostly from the north looking to buy an affordable house and settle into the small central north island town.

Property Brokers manager Denis Robertson said houses in the town have been selling fast with many selling mostly to first home buyers.

The windows of the small agency on Taihape's main tell the story with lists of photographs of houses all sporting sold signs.

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It means that there are fewer rentals available, Robertson said.

"Our region is now in demand there's no doubt about it.''

And the new buyers are really nice people, he said.

"We have a few buyers from Australia moving back who are semi-retired and they are all lovely people."

Robertson said Taihape was once considered a backwater but it is far from that now.

"We are close to all the great outdoor venues like the mountains for skiing and tramping and of course there's Lake Taupo just up the road. We're very central here.''