With Hawke's Bay acting as a "magnet" for first-home buyers, sellers are being more realistic about how much they can bank when selling to newbies.
Research conducted by OneRoof showed prices at the very top end of the market remained down on last year.
For the 12 months to the end of August, the highest sale price achieved for a Hawke's Bay property was $2.8m for a property on Te Roera Dr in Taradale. That was well below the top price of 2017, which hit $3.2m for a house on Waimarama Rd in Central Hawke's Bay.
However, OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said median values of all properties in Napier had risen.
"Napier's housing market is in full catch-up mode – the median value of all properties in the city rose 13.6 per cent to $483,000 in the 12 months to November 1, 2018.
"The wider region continues to remain relatively affordable compared to the rest of New Zealand, with 74.5 per cent of housing stock valued at $600,000 or lower. This has made the region a magnet for first home-buyers, who represented 27.5 per cent of new mortgage registrations in 2018.
"Overall, the region is still benefiting from increased demand for residential housing."
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That appeared to be fuelled primarily by market participants seeking more affordable housing in a location which also offers strong lifestyle and employment opportunities, Vaughan said.
OneRoof research shows that for the 12 month to August, property sales have totalled $791m in Hastings, $119m in Central Hawke's Bay, and $75m in Napier.