Napier and Hastings residents are moving to Central Hawke's Bay in search of affordable housing, says QV valuer Michelle Drinkrow.
The QV House Price Index for June shows Hastings values rose 21.6 per cent compared with June last year and 5.4 per cent over the past three months. Napier values rose 18.8 per cent compared with June and 4.7 per cent over the past three months.
The average value in Hastings is now $420,155 and in Napier it is $442,986.
Central Hawke's Bay values are up 21.4 per cent in the year since June 2016 and 8 per cent over the past three months, but the average current value is just $281,208.
"In a trend not seen since prior to the previous peak of 2007, Central Hawke's Bay is now reaping the benefit of people moving from Napier and Hastings in search of more affordable property within commuting distance of the main centres," Ms Drinkrow said.
Wairoa's average value is $157,176 last month, up is 6.2 per cent up on June 2016.
Tararua is up 12.2 per cent to $175,781.
Ms Drinkrow said while the Hawke's Bay market was "less frenzied" than recent months it remained strong.
"We are still seeing demand outstripping supply in the Hawke's Bay market with a lack of listings and vacant land," she said.
"We continue to see high numbers of out-of-town buyers, particularly Aucklanders, selling up and moving to the area in search of a better lifestyle and better bang for their buck."
First home buyers who met the criteria for KiwiSaver assistance were also active in the market.
"We do not seem to be seeing the same impact of the new lending restrictions in the market here, although things are not quite as frenzied as they were, investors remain active in the lower price brackets. If the numbers stack up for them they are happy to take on risks."
REINZ figures for March and April showed Hawke's Bay had the lowest level of houses for sale in the country.
Valuer Andrew White, of My Valuer, said there were many older people wanting to trade down "but they have nowhere to go".
"It sounds like a cliche but there is nothing on the market," he said.
High demand was meeting lack of supply, driving prices up.
"We have a range of buyers in the market, from first-home buyers through to second and third-home buyers plus the migrants out of Auckland. The market is being driven from all angles as a result, due to a significant lack of supply."
The lack of listings was discouraging new listings from the usual shift of people moving house within Napier and Hastings.
"It sounds like a cliche, but there is nowhere to go."
The QV figures are driving speculation whether the Auckland market has peaked. Over the three months to the end of June there was zero growth, with values increasing 7.2 per cent over the year to June which is the slowest annual rate since September 2012. The average value for Auckland is now $1,045,059.
Compared with the previous market peak in 2007, Hawke's Bay has some catching up to do. Auckland values are 91.2 per cent higher than the peak while Hastings is 34.8 per cent higher, Napier 30.2 per cent higher and Central Hawke's Bay 6.1 per cent higher.
Tararua is 0.3 per cent lower than the 2007 peak and Wairoa the land of opportunity at 35.8 per cent lower.