A Havelock North house has sold for more than double its ratings valuation.
The 1950s weatherboard three-bedroom house, in original condition, sold for $1,050,000 on Monday according to OneRoof.
With its August 2019 ratings valuation of $500,000, Tremains Real Estate agent Bronwyn Grant said many buyers thought they were in with a chance to buy the original condition house on Arataki Rd.
She said buyers were given two weeks to submit offers.
"I had 166 enquiries on this property - that's phone calls, texts, emails – all of which get replied to," she said.
"That resulted in 122 groups coming through four open homes.
"I got this enormous stack – 24 offers."
But her jubilation at the sale was short-lived.
"It took me an hour-and-a-half to call all the disappointed buyers and just to listen to them - what they were hoping to purchase.
"They felt they had really put their best foot forward to secure this property.
"Most of the offers were cash, unconditional."
While the section was potentially sub-dividable with resource consent, many of the would-be buyers were simply after their own slice of "quarter acre paradise".
"The vast majority of the offers were from families who just wanted the classic Kiwi house with a lovely big backyard."
The elderly vendor was downsizing and the new owners are a family with school-aged children, one of many scrambling to secure a purchase in the buoyant market.
REINZ figures show Hawke's Bay recording some of the biggest increases in house prices nationally.
The February Hawke's Bay median Price of $704,000 is up 36 per cent compared with February 2020's median price of $516,000.
The sales count was down 22 per cent.
Grant said, despite headwinds, first-home buyers were still in the hunt.
"A lot of them are reliant on their parents helping them, just finding it very difficult to get into the market."
Cole Murray mortgage adviser Steve Davies said low interest rates made homes more affordable for people trading up.
He said while many first-home buyers were struggling with high prices, Hawke's Bay was "still a great place for first-home buyers".
"We've got the Central Hawke's Bay - there's a lot of activity down there."
He said investors were active in the market but new government-imposed LVR restrictions, which limit how much investors could borrow, would "hopefully open up the market for first-home buyers".
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