For the second time in a row average house prices in Hawke's Bay are at an all-time high, with prices up nearly $70,000 over the past 12 months.

Latest data from the New Zealand Real Estate Institute show the median house price in the region is now $444,000, surpassing last month's all-time record level of $438,000.

Prices were up 18.4 per cent (the nation's highest rise) on the same time last year, when the median price was $375,000.

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"The Hawke's Bay has seen record price increases for two months in a row now, with prices having increased $26,000 since the end of 2017," REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said.

"Clearly the region is proving extremely popular. Additionally, the recent announcement by the Regional Economic Development Minister, Shane Jones, that nearly $9 million will be spent to reopen the Wairoa-Napier line for logging trains will bring significant development for the Hawke's Bay region."

Tremains managing director Simon Tremain said demand was still high, especially at the first-home buyer level.

"The lower end of the market is the real driver, that's where the sales happen.

"We are still getting multiple offers on properties in that $450,000 price range. You still have multiple people trying to buy."

Mr Tremain said those sort of properties would have been selling in the late $200,000 range just two years ago.

"It's very positive, interests rate are still low, our population growth is above what I think has been predicted."

Buyer restriction expected to be introduced by the new Labour-led Government would affect only a "minority" of people in the Hawke's Bay market.


"So it will have very little to no effect on our market."

Property Brokers regional manager Paul Whitaker said the region's housing market was still in a strong position.

"Buyer confidence is high and vendors are grabbing that opportunity and are willing to cash in. We're seeing just about the right amount of stock coming on to the market to sustain the activity and the hype.

"Good properties that are well presented to the market are attracting multi-buyer competition and still achieving excellent prices."

Mr Whitaker said with listings buoyant, it was expected that similar levels of activity would continue into autumn and possibly even winter.

Harcourts Hawke's Bay general manager James Cooper said despite the price increases, out-of-town buyers still saw the region as value for money.

"We are seeing activity from all sectors of the market, including vendors looking to downsize to free up capital and time in their retirement, families returning to Hawke's Bay and first-home buyers."

Mr Cooper said there was also a lot of competition among buyers.

"Vendors that elect to put their properties in well run campaigns are getting good results. For example, last week, we had over 100 people in our auction rooms, resulting in a 100 per cent clearance rate and over $2.5 million in property going under the hammer.

"This is a fantastic result for our customers."