The number of Hawke's Bay homes sold for over $1 million has increased by more than 50 per cent since 2016.

Real Estate New Zealand's Million Dollar Price Report showed Hawke's Bay homes sold for more than $1 million increased 58.8 per cent from 34 in 2016 to 54 in 2017.

This is the third highest increase in the country behind Southland with a 200 per cent rise from one to three sales and Taranaki with a 100 per cent increase from 18 to 36 properties.

Harcourts managing director Kaine Wilson said the increase in million-dollar sales in Hawke's Bay was mostly due to a rise in house prices in general as well as more out-of-town buyers especially from Auckland.

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"For sellers it's an exceptional environment. We've seen enormous interest in inquiries, resulting in sales, in that higher end in recent years."

The interesting thing is there have been multiple offers on sales from both out-of-town and local buyers, which is also driving up prices, he said.

"We're seeing multiple offers which is unique."

Having such high sales, and purchasers of high-end properties moving from other regions, means there was more money in Hawke's Bay's economy, he said.

Hawke's Bay was a desirable place to live and people could now operate businesses here remotely, he said.

Harcourts real estate agent Bill Tawhai said he had sold five homes for more than $1 million in the last five months and had listed a $2 million property yesterday.

"Two years ago people would have laughed if we said we would sell a $1 million property."

There were 26 people interested in a recent million-dollar property in Napier and another sold in six days, he said.

One buyer, from out of town, paid cash and hadn't even set foot in a house before he bought it for over $1 million.

"It's just going up and up, there's crazy supply and demand. The buyers are out there."

Property Brokers regional director for Hawke's Bay Paul Whitaker said the number of homes selling for over $1 million was a direct result of the overflow from the Auckland market.

House prices rising was positive for the economy because everybody had more equity in their property.

This meant they felt good and spent more on other areas, he said.

Tremains managing director Simon Tremain said the entire market had gone up 63 per cent in two years so properties that used to be $800,000 would now sell for about $1.3 million.

"There's a lot more money in properties."

There had been a massive increase in people coming in and buying from outside the region, especially Auckland, which was growing the market and meant there was more money to spend in the economy enabling people in Hawke's Bay to have a better quality of life, he said.

Nationally the number of million-dollar properties sold dropped 13.8 per cent last year compared to 2016 (10,027 down from 11,639) due to a decreasing Auckland market.

However, this figure is still up on 2015, when 9574 milliondollar-plus properties were sold around the country.

In the Auckland market, the number of million-dollar properties sold during 2017 fell 17.8 per cent when compared to the previous year.

Excluding Auckland nationally, the number of milliondollar-plus properties increased year on year by 4.7 per cent.