Average house values were up across Hawke's Bay in December and a real estate boss says the recent increase is the first real growth in the area for seven years.

Central Hawke's Bay values were up 8.7 per cent last December on the previous one to $219,067, according to Quotable Value (QV).

Hastings values lifted 8.4 per cent to $322,613 and Napier values were up 4.8 per cent to $343,843.

Values in Wairoa increased 0.7 per cent to $148,126.


Leaders real estate agency managing director Elanor MacDonald said activity had increased towards the end of last year, following seven years of no price growth.

She said a shortage of properties were available in relation to the number of people who wanted to buy.

Properties were attracting multiple offers and much interest.

There were now signs of more houses coming on to the market including some new builds.

Ms MacDonald had heard of first home buyers who were thinking about building.

This reflected frustration at the lack of choice.

There were also extra benefits that could be applied for when building.

Ms MacDonald said houses in all price brackets were selling well to a good mix of first home buyers and investors.

She thought values would continue to increase at a slow and steady pace over the coming months.

Property Brokers Hawke's Bay regional manager Paul Whitaker said that the property market was hot and there were lots of new properties to the market and good purchasers wanting to buy.

"It has been a fantastic year and a great kickstart for home owners who have all seen a sizeable lift in their property values."

He said at present house prices were very reasonable but people needed to move fast as prices were on the rise and rents were slowly increasing too. Mr Whitaker expected further growth this year. He said 2016 should see more of the same - another 10 to 15 per cent lift in values.

Harcourts managing director Kaine Wilson said it was a seller's market, with low stock levels and huge buyer enquiry.

Harcourts had seen its best year since 2006- 07, he said. There had been a surge of interest from people in Auckland. "Out of town buyers are expressing that it is a more affordable option hence are moving."

"I see 2016 as steady continuation of what we are presently experiencing with less volume being offered and continued high buyer demand," Mr Wilson said.

Nationwide, the residential property values surged ahead in the year to December 2015, according to QV.

Residential property values increased 14.2 per cent from $488,674 in December 2014 to $558,146 in December 2015.

The average national value increased 2.9 per cent over the final three months of 2015.

Home values in the Auckland region increased 22.5 per cent year-on-year. They rose 4.1 per cent over the last three months on the year but only 0.2 per cent over the final month of the year.

QV national spokesperson, Andrea Rush said massive increases in Auckland home values during the first nine months of 2015 led the Government and the Reserve Bank to announce mid-year that they would introduce measures to curb Auckland investors.

"These huge hikes in home values and pending restrictions on investors saw many look to move or invest outside of the Auckland region for more affordable homes or better rental yields during 2015.

"This resulted in an increase in activity and demand in previously slow housing markets in upper and central North Island centres including Hamilton, Tauranga, the Waikato District, Hawkes Bay, Whangarei and Rotorua."