Hastings buyers are bucking housing trends, pushing prices in the district to a winter record but it's hoped moves to build more houses will keep future price rises in check.
Sales data, released this week from the Real Estate Institute, showed the Hawke's Bay's median house price last month was $430,000 - unchanged on the previous month, but prices in Hastings were up as much as $48,000 for the month and $76,000 up on the same month last year.
A REINZ spokeswoman confirmed that last month's median of $456,000 was a record for June in Hastings.
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With Hastings prices still rising Hastings District Council remains focused on freeing up land for development.
Construction is under way at developments on Meissner Rd and Sunbury Ridge, while more than 200 lots at developments at Te Awanga, Maraekakaho, Arataki, Lyndhurst Rd and Tangoio have been received.
Hastings District Council economic development and urban affairs committee chairman Damon Harvey said the council would be aiming to ensure more land would be available for housing developments, to ensure prices remained affordable.
"For property owners it's good news that their major investment continues to grow in value, albeit unrealised until they sell, but at the same time we need to keep sight of the fact that there is a current housing shortage, therefore we need to focus on creating affordable housing options for first-home buyers.
"As we all know it's about supply and demand and the Hastings council is focused on ensuring that land is realised in a timely manner to the market and we must focus on building consent processes that are streamlined and as easy to navigate as possible."
A council spokeswoman added it was working with Greenstone Developments to release more sections from the Lyndhurst development to market.
"The infrastructure for the first stage of Lyndhurst Rd has been completed, which should release about 60 sections – subject to landowner/developer decisions on putting them to market.
"Putting in the infrastructure for the next stage, Lyndhurst Rd to Arbuckle Rd, will commence as soon as possible – with council's tenders committee due to make a decision on a contractor.
"That work is expected to be completed inside this calendar year and will enable developers to release about half of the 270 sections available in the rezoned area."
Greenstone Developments director Tim Wilkins said it had seen sections, open to expressions of interest, sell within days of release.
Wilkins added that the council was doing its best to complete the consent applications process on a host of other pending section releases.
"On our Lyndhurst development, which is about 180 sections, of which we have developed and sold 74, we completed all of that in basically, the last year - and they are starting to be built on at the moment.
"They were all sold virtually within days."
The company last week started stage 1 development of its Arataki subdivision, which has released nine sections to market.
"We put those on the market and we've sold half of those so far. We are expecting to put stage 2, which is the rest of the 30 sections on the market in about a month's time."
Wilkins said it was also about to start development at Keirunga Rd in Havelock North, where 20 sections and four lifestyle blocks were due to go to the market before summer.
"The demand is still very strong, we do have a lack of supply. There's a lot of people still wanting to live in new homes or to upgrade to a warmer, better insulated home."
There was also a strong demand for smaller sections from both older people and younger families, looking to build new homes in Hastings.
"There seems to be a strong demand for housing in Hastings and we think that's because it's more affordable but also the size of the sections, being slightly smaller, are suiting the people in that market.
"The section and the cost of building in Hastings is still very affordable and cost-effective, as opposed to owning an older home in Hastings."
The market in Havelock North for second-hand homes was possibly "ahead of themselves", which also had a knock-on effect of pushing people into Hastings.