First-home buyers are boosting Hawke's Bay's best-performing suburbs, new research shows.

The latest OneRoof Property Report figures show first-home buyer activity is driving growth with property prices in Pirimai up 4.6 per cent in the second quarter to $418,950, while neighbouring Tamatea also rose 4.1 per cent to $423,650.

Both suburbs are popular with young families and typically boast large sections. They offer easy access to Napier CBD and the city's main industrial area, and enjoy a wealth of amenities.

Simon Tremian, managing director of Tremain Real Estate, says the suburbs' relatively affordable price points make them attractive to first-home buyers and investors.

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"Buyers don't show any sign of diminishing, with huge numbers for any properties in the lower end of the market. This of course then enables these vendors to move up to the next level and so it goes like dominoes."

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The farming-based community of Waipukurau also recorded strong gains, with values up 4.4 per cent to $311,700. It also saw the greatest positive movement over the last year, coming second in value growth for the period with a gain of 17.9 per cent.

Tremain says the town is also a great entry point for first-time buyers or those looking for an affordable rental property.

Proximity to the city and water views saw Bluff Hill - still the region's most expensive suburb - emerge as the region's top performer for the year, with the median value there growing 18.6 per cent in value to $722,300.

"Bluff Hill has a great variety of price ranges and it has always been popular due to views, sun and proximity to the CBD," Tremain said.

Overall property values for the region were relatively buoyant, with Napier recording a three per cent rise over the second quarter to $512,519, while Hastings district suffered a slight dip of 0.30 per cent to $455,678.

Tremaine said although the region had been "late to the party" in terms of value growth, the momentum it had built up over the past two years looks set to continue.

"Hawke's Bay is an amazing niche part of New Zealand. Due to being a little off the main trunk, it has been slow to gather the necessary population. This has now started and will keep going as families and friends establish new networks.

"I'm meeting lots of new people with lots of great stories on why they came here and how much they love the lifestyle, weather and [lack of] traffic."