Residential property values have risen in Hawke's Bay says a real estate expert - but the market still favours the buyer.

QuotableValue (QV) statistics for January showed the average property value for a house in Napier was $328,774 - a 1.1 per cent increase on January 2014.

In Central Hawke's Bay, the average property value was $206,505 while in Hastings the average value was $299,096.

Bayleys real estate agent Colleen Schofield said the property market in the Bay was warming up but still favoured home-buyers.

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"I think the market is getting more stimulated and there has been more activity.

"There is definitely a downflow from Auckland. People living up there are interested in moving down here and they realise they get better value for their dollar when buying property here."

Ms Schofield said the demand for housing in Hawke's Bay was increasing.

"There hasn't been a great jump in property value but in supply and demand. Demand is rising which can push up property prices."

Nationwide, residential property prices for January increased by 5.7 per cent in the past year.

According to QV, average residential property prices were 19.2 per cent above the previous market peak of late 2007.

QV national spokeswoman Andrea Rush said Auckland's property market played a big role in value increases throughout the country.

"The nationwide increase in values is mainly being driven by Auckland which has seen a continued acceleration in values," she said.

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"However, the other main cities and many provincial centres are now also showing more moderate increases in value as well."

Ms Rush said some potential vendors were, however, unable to sell because they were having difficulty finding a new place to buy due to a lack of listings.

"Following a big month of sales in December there remains a shortage of properties listed for sale and this is continuing to put pressure on values and also on buyers, particularly in Auckland and Hamilton where many who are keen to buy cannot find a suitable property."

Ms Rush said lower interest rates would help home buyers.

"Interest rates have come down again and there have been suggestions a possible lowering of the Official Cash Rate this year could make borrowing even more affordable. However, for first home buyers, the requirement for a 20 per cent deposit due to the Loan-to-Value Ratio restrictions is still too great a hurdle for many." NZME.