Hawke's Bay's property market is becoming a neck and neck race between Napier and Hastings as average property values continue to soar past the half million dollar mark, but that growth has seen a lack of sales in the region.
According to the latest OneRoof statistics Hastings is continuing to shine in the region with Napier progressing at a slower rate.
After a soft winter, Napier is back to enjoying more sustained growth, with the median value of all properties in the city up 8.5 per cent year on year and 2 per cent over the quarter to $510,000.
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But Hastings continues to be region's star performer, with the town's median property value up more than 30 per cent year on year to $515,000.
With overall sales volumes lower than last year, it would appear that a shortage of listings is driving the current surge in house prices, with properties for sale for the whole region down 12.5 per cent annually and sales volumes down 4.1 per cent in October.
However, the majority of sales have been between $400,000 and $500,000 in Napier, which shows Napier still has strong appeal for first home buyers, who represented nearly a quarter of all mortgage registrations over the last quarter for Hawke's Bay at 27.21 per cent.
Tremains Hawke's Bay sales manager Stuart Christensen said that with the median prices continuing to rise it has seen an effect on the region's sale numbers.
"The growing median prices in both Napier and Hastings do show the strength of the regional markets but that has affected the sale volumes a bit," Christensen said.
"It is definitely a sellers' market but compared to last year numbers are slightly down but that doesn't mean the demand isn't still out there."
One thing that Christensen pointed out was how the market has been heavily influenced by first home buyers with many homes seeing plenty of interest from first home buyers.
"There has been plenty of interest from first home buyers in the more affordable parts of the region such as Maraenui and parts of Hastings which has seen most of the buying grow in those areas and slow off in higher priced suburbs like Napier Hill."
That growth in sales in the affordable regions has been felt by sellers in the region especially for Kylie Cheer and her family who managed to sell and buy a house within six days.
"It was an absolutely crazy week," Cheer said.
"We had it all planned out for our sale and how to showcase it over a few weeks but with a couple of days on the market we already had offers in."
She said they had plenty of interest from first home buyers on the property but ended up selling to an investor who was able to offer a cash sale on their house in Mayfair.
Cheer said it made the process easier and allowed them to look at buying even though they were hesitant to do so.
"If we didn't have the cash sale on our house we wouldn't have gone looking at buying a house now because from we saw for those selling a house the market fits them at the moment but all the people looking to buy it has been a real struggle," Cheer said.
"But for us we have just been extremely lucky to have been able to get what we want and do it so quickly also."