The rise in asking prices for Hawke's Bay real estate has again topped the country.

Hawke's Bay asking prices for March were up 18.6 per cent to an average of $473,600 as measured by the latest Trade Me Property Price Index, above the national increase of 11.4 per cent.

Last month the Index prices rose 15.3 per cent in the year to February - above the national change of 9 per cent.

Leaders managing director Elanor MacDonald said Napier and Hastings markets had less than half the number of houses waiting to be sold than a year ago.


"We have had more than one multi-offer every single day," she said.

"Some people offering have missed out two to four times.

"You can imagine how they feel when they get to number four - they are really keen to just get that house."

She said there was an increase in the average sale price, especially through the middle price bracket.

"This is the best time to sell a house since 2007.

"We have kept on saying that and it gets truer each month."

She said there was a lot more interest in sections which was a sign of a buoyant market.

"There are very few left," she said.

"I think that shows people's frustration at not being able to find a suitable house to buy."

She said while the market was thriving, the index was an optimistic reflection of the overall market because it included private sales, which tended to have unrealistic price expectations.

Cox Partners managing director Malcolm Cox said most price movement occurred in the last six months.

Part of the sudden increase was "catch up" after a static market since the last market peak of 2007, which had only recently been exceeded.

"The other part is factors driving the market, which include low interest rates, few listings and excessive demand," he said.

"That imbalance is marching prices forward."

He said the Hawke's Bay was independent of the Auckland market, which had grown steadily since 2007, so if the Auckland market faltered Hawke's Bay prices should not suffer.

People in Hawke's Bay were "a good level of confidence" in its economy and the restraint of a shortage of well-paying jobs was being overcome through people working remotely.

"The thing that Hawke's Bay has going for it is of course the lifestyle - we hear it time and time again from visitors," Mr Cox said.