With the average costs of building a new home about $45,000 cheaper than buying existing properties in Hawke's Bay's record-priced property market, building consents for new homes are going through the roof.
There are now about double the amount of new homes being built than there were just two years ago.
Latest data from Statistics New Zealand shows resource consents were granted for 61 new dwellings in February - nine more than the same time last year.
Combined, those 61 houses are worth $25 million, bringing the total value of all new dwellings consented in the first two month of the year to $14m, spread across 103 properties. That would average out (not including section purchase costs) at $398,000 each - still cheaper than the current record median house price of $444,000.
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Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce chief executive Wayne Walford said he was not surprised at the spike in building consents.
"All my research, and having to wait 14 months to refurbish our own bathrooms, confirms there is a massive amount of development happening and in the pipeline in Hawke's Bay.
"Hopefully these new homes are enabling first home buyers into the market.
"Realtors are telling me the market stock is low due to the lack of options for progression. A few more qualified tradesmen would certainly add value to the construction industry and the economic cycle of Hawke's Bay."
The latest figures come a month after statistics that showed resource consent was granted for 42 new homes in Hawke's Bay in January, eight more than the same month last year.
Those houses had a combined value of $16 million.
Last calendar year (2017) a total of $211.6 million worth of new dwellings were consented throughout Napier, Hastings and Central Hawke's Bay.
However, for the year ended February 2018, a total of 604 new dwellings have been consented - 120 more than the same period the previous year - and nearly double the 374 new dwelling consented for the year ended February, 2016.
Nationally, at the end of February, the seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings consented rose 5.7 per cent.