The 2016 property market is kicking off with a high, specifically the highest record median house price for the region.
Figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand revealed the median price rose $33,500, 12 per cent compared with January 2015, with the median house price for the region $317,000 compared with January 2015's $283,500.
Leaders real-estate agency managing director Elanor MacDonald said she was expecting the year to be busy and flat out, which was good news for the Bay.
"The pressure is on, it's absolute madness, especially with properties marketed without a set price.
"Last year the list to sell ratio was one in seven, or one in eight, now it's one in two.
"It's keeping the pressure on with buyers having to be organised and prepared to pay more, people will come to the market with price increases."
She said the most interesting thing was the region had half as many houses for sale as there were in January last year.
Property Brokers regional manager Paul Whitaker said the supply-demand balance was completely out of kilter.
"Right throughout Hawke's Bay there's been a 20 per cent lift in the market.
"We sold a house in Havelock North and it was valued before Christmas at $290,000, when it was approved by Property Brokers for $330,000 to $340,000, and it sold for over $400,000."
Sales volumes in Hawke's Bay rose 36 per cent compared with January 2015, with sales rising 68 per cent in Hastings, 29 per cent in Napier, but falling 43 per cent in Dannevirke.
Compared with December, sales volumes fell 28 per cent, with sales falling 73 per cent in Dannevirke, 56 per cent in Hawke's Bay Country and 23 per cent in Napier.
Tremains real estate director Simon Tremain said he had been in real estate for 22 years, and this market was the best he had ever seen.
"It's a fantastic time for people to be taking the next step up the property ladder ... there are buyers in every price market."
He said prices were jumping every month and he could imagine the median increasing to $330,000 over the next month.
In January, prices rose 20 per cent in Hastings but fell 2 per cent in Napier, 7 per cent in Hawke's Bay Country, and 15 per cent in Dannevirke.
Compared with December the median price rose $6500, 2 per cent, with prices rising 193 per cent in Hawke's Bay Country, but falling 2 per cent in Hastings, 4 per cent in Napier and 32 per cent in Dannevirke.
Harcourts managing director Kaine Wilson said they were selling one in three properties through auction.
He said this was a sellers' market, and auctions were a good way for sellers to see an increase in premiums.
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand chief executive Colleen Milne said January was an unusual month due to the Christmas, New Year period and the summer holiday break, so comparisons with December were always a bit difficult.
"The Hawke's Bay market is also seeing increased demand reducing the levels of available inventory, with the consequent upward lift in vendor expectations on price. A new record median price for the region is indicative of its underlying strength."
"January typically has a significant drop in sales volume and a noticeable drop in median prices compared to December. That said, over the past 10 years the average drop in sales volume for January has been close to 20 per cent, while there has been an average 3 per cent drop in the median price nationally."
Home sells in a week $65,000 above GV
Six-month-old Daniel Brosnan will have plenty of room to kick a ball thanks to a strong Hawke's Bay real estate market.
His dad Greg and Napier City councillor-mum Annette have secured a house with big garden after selling their Lanark Cres home in Tamatea after just one week on the market.
"We have had our eye out for a new home for 18 months," she said.
"My husband Greg wanted a big section — he grew up on a big section so that's what he wanted for our son. We found a new place six months ago and we thought, if we were to put our house on the market we might get slightly above GV [ratings valuation] because we have done a bit of work.
"We put it on the market on a Monday, had two offers on Tuesday night — both over GV — and we decided we would wait for at least one open home."
The open home was on January 31, a Sunday, with the deadline for offers the following evening.
"At the open home we had 25 groups of people come through. When I got home half an hour later there were people outside who had missed the open home. I let them have a look through as well."
Tremains Real Estate agent Sara Mackey said for every name taken in an open home it represented an average of three people.
Five offers were presented to the Brosnans and the one with the least number of conditions happened to be the highest — $65,000 above GV.
She said taking only one week to sell their house wasn't reckless.
"Because there were five offers at the same time it gave them a really good idea."
She said big numbers at open homes and several offers were increasingly common in the Hawke's Bay market.
The buyers were a young local couple. "They had been looking for quite some time — they are just so over the moon."
The Brosnans move from their four-bedroom 1970s home with three bathrooms and a rumpus room, "all redone in the kitchen and bathroom", to a similar 1970s house in Marewa, with Daniel's big section.
They move in March.
"We have both houses for five days so we can move casually — with a little baby I don't want to be too pushed."