Hawke's Bay house prices are at record levels as new statistics reveal the region's sellers now want even more for their houses - and even real estate agents cannot believe some of the prices.
Latest data released by realestate.co.nz showed that Hawke's Bay was last month one of the top five regions with the largest increases in asking prices (compared with the month prior).
Last month's average asking price was $42,000 more than the region's record $444,000 median house price (in February).
"The regions are looking lively with asking prices and new listings up in most of the country's regions, while the main centres paint a different picture," realestate.co.nz spokeswoman Vanessa Taylor said.
"The top five 'hot regions' are Gisborne, Northland, Marlborough, Coromandel and Hawke's Bay [respectively].
"Hawke's Bay saw a 3.8 per cent increase in asking prices to $486,144 and a 19.8 per cent increase in new listings (387)."
Previous data from the Real Estate Institute (REINZ) showed that in February the region's median house price rose to $444,000 - a record high - and the second month in a row a record price had been hit.
REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said sales prices in Hawke's Bay had increased 18.4 per cent over the last 12 months - and 31.4 per cent over the past two years.
"As news of the success of sales prices continues to filter through the community, it is therefore highly likely that asking prices will be influenced as a result.
"Locals have known for years that Hawke's Bay is a great place to live – it's still affordable, it has great schools, good job opportunities, it has very little traffic to contend with and it is a beautiful part of New Zealand.
"The rest of the country has now realised what a great place it is and we're constantly hearing our members tell us that they are getting increasing levels of inquiries from outside of the region."
Tremains managing director Simon Tremain said while it was the real estate agents jog to work for vendors and get them the maximum price possible, it was sometimes a surprise at what was being paid out.
"We are only going to know if sale prices match asking prices once the actual REINZ statistics come out about April 10, but in saying that, we've seen the market has continued to rise over the last month.
"There is still massive buyer demand out there.
"We are quite often surprised at just what sort of prices are paid for some properties."
Property Brokers regional manager Paul Whitaker said vendors were still being realistic about prices.
"The market is still strong but there is a story behind this - I think we are seeing every month now, a slight change in the market, where we're seeing more properties being priced, rather than tenders or deadline sales.
"It's just a sign the usual market trend that happens. Although the market is still buoyant and string, as it starts to slow down we start to see properties sitting on the market a fraction longer and then more properties being priced in the market place."