A "scramble" for Hawke's Bay real estate is continuing, with the increase in asking prices again topping the country.

The Trade Me Property Price Index for May 2016 shows an $88,650 increase from May 2015, from $377,200 to $465,850.

The 23.5 per cent rise was the highest in the country, with Bay of Plenty second with a 23.4 per cent rise.

Auckland rose 12.7 per cent and New Zealand 9.2 per cent.


Rob Douglas of Added Valuation said the Trade Me Hawke's Bay figure was consistent with value growth, which was expected to continue.

"We are getting surprised every day," he said.

"It isn't stopping - there is no suggestion at the moment there will be any kind of a slowdown in value increases."

Strong price increases were making his work difficult - with sales just three months ago "almost too old" and giving little indication of current values.

"Twelve months ago I would have been happy to use them for comparison for valuations."

He said out-of-town buyers were a lot more prevalent than at the beginning of the year.

"A lot of that is simply investing rather than for personal use.

"The out-of-towners buying 12 months ago were more for personal use."

He said some buyers were not completing due diligence before making their purchase, especially if they had recently made an unsuccessful offer.

He recently valued a Flaxmere house under contract for $200,000 when a similar house nearby sold at the same time for $197,000 - "but my house was built in 2011 and the other house was a pretty marginal/basic dwelling built in the 1980s".

"The $3000 didn't reflect the difference in quality. One buyer got a substantially better deal. We have seen that quite a bit."

He said the margin between properties subject to Napier City or Hawke's Bay Regional Council leases had narrowed.

"In people's scramble to get hold of property, they are not necessarily undertaking the necessary research into the market that they ought to, to compare options.

"I guess they are thinking if they wait three months it won't matter if they get a bad buy. They are probably right."

Harcourts managing director Kaine Wilson said it was increasingly difficult to do a market appraisal of a property, with multiple offers causing strong increases in selling prices.

"Everyone is seeing unexpected results every day," he said.

Few houses were marketed with a fixed price, instead sold through negotiation, auction or tender.

"Somebody might want $20,000 more and you think, actually I don't have any evidence to support that but given how the market is, let's have a go.

"Ninety five per cent of the time it is happening."