We hear a lot about the benefits of a booming property market.

And that boom spreads far and wide.

As Central Hawke's Bay Mayor Alex Walker noted last year "the secret is out".

Walker was commenting at the time on the 55 per cent increase in the rateable values of CHB property.


"Central Hawke's Bay is a place where families and business can thrive."

As our page 3 story says today, to Walker's credit, she has also observed that CHB has, like other regions, a housing boom and a housing crisis.

In May, 38 CHB families were homeless and couldn't find accommodation.

How so?

It's pretty simple - people who own property benefit financially from a rising housing market. Even if you don't sell for capital gain, the new equity in your home allows more borrowing.

People who don't, don't.

Napier and Hastings prices have gone up, people are looking further afield to purchase and CHB is commutable distance to the region's two biggest towns, if you don't happen to work in CHB.

It also offers affordable property and lifestyle.


And it has also attracted investors.

The landlord who has put 86-year-old Bea Ridgway's rent up on her Waipawa flat bought the property last month.

The new owners have done what any property investor would do, indeed are sometimes required to do as a prerequisite for finance - obtain a rental evaluation.

Bea's rent has been cheap for a long time - sadly the property and rental market has moved swiftly in the past year and Bea obviously had a landlord happy to leave her rent at $150. When they could have been getting $260.

And that's what happened - the new owner is hiking the rent 73 per cent so it meets the market. Supply and demand.

It's a reality of life that's tragic but true.

Bea has family support around her and worst case scenario, if nothing cheaper pops up, she will be fine.

But as rents rise, the 38 families struggling to find somewhere to live fall further behind the eight ball.

Walker says that 12 months ago, Housing NZ had no intention of developing housing in CHB.

That's changed, but Walker remains frustrated because talks of one sort or another have been going on "for years".

As for Bea, we sincerely hope she finds somewhere soon.

But as odd as it sounds, in a way, she is one of the lucky ones.