Property experts say the Hawke's Bay market is taking a 'wait and see' approach as the region's economy recovers from Covid-19.

A strong pre-lockdown market performance is continuing to be reflected in year on year median price figures.

For Napier, Ahuriri has been a top performer, with the highest 2020 sale of $2.25 million. The suburb's median price is $750,000 - a 14.94 per cent increase in the past 12 months.

Other top performers were Maraenui, where the median price of $345,000 is up 23.21 per cent, and Te Awa, with a median price of $720,000 which has the biggest year on year median increase in Napier, of 34.58 per cent.

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Hastings district has seen some impressive rural property sales figures in 2020. The latest figures show Tangoio leads the way with the highest year on year median percentage increase of 34.36 per cent, to $655,000.

Flaxmere residential property also continues to reflect big growth with a $355,000 median - a rise of 33.96 per cent year on year.

There have been multiple $1m-plus sales settled in Hastings district.

The largest is a $3m purchase in Haumoana where the median price is $605,000 - up 19.80 per cent year on year.

In CHB, median values ranged from $365,000 in Porangahau to a high of $585,000 in Elsthorpe. The highest recorded settled CHB sale in 2020 was an $850,000 property in Otane, where the median value is $430,000.

The median sales value in Wairoa sits at $175,000 and Mahia is $585,000.

Joe Snee, regional manager for Property Brokers in Hawke's Bay and Gisborne, pictured with the company's top sales performer Matt Oliver, from Waipukurau and Property Brokers owner Tim Mordaunt.
Joe Snee, regional manager for Property Brokers in Hawke's Bay and Gisborne, pictured with the company's top sales performer Matt Oliver, from Waipukurau and Property Brokers owner Tim Mordaunt.

Joe Snee, regional manager for Property Brokers in Hawke's Bay and Gisborne, says
the speed at which the lockdown came into effect presented challenges.

The situation was difficult to navigate, he says, and throwing in the legislative changes to the rental market meant information was constantly changing.

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"Yes, it impacted the business rhythm but more importantly it challenged the
mental resilience of our teams and it illustrated just how strong our people are."

The impact of the crisis is uncertain, Snee says.

"I field a lot of questions about the lasting impacts of Covid on the real estate market.

"In my opinion, with a global pandemic of this magnitude, it wouldn't be right to think it will not have an impact on our local market.

"However, to what degree is another question, and I remain positive about the market.

"With record low cash rates, uncertainty in financial markets, and a number of
people repatriating back to New Zealand I am confident the market will show some
resilience."

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"As for the coming months, the goalposts are changing and there's an election around the corner. There is the potential for legislative change, tighter regulations and then, as always, the unknown of the local economic performance."

James Wilson, director of valuation at OneRoof's data partner Valocity, said Hawke's Bay had been performing "really strongly" entering Covid-19.

"We had it at just over 8 per cent growth.

"Much like Christchurch, it's taken a wait and see approach. We had quite a high proportion of first home buyers in Central and wider Hawke's Bay. We've seen a sideline approach but it's not come to a grinding halt."

"It's showing zero value growth since Covid, so flat conditions but if we talk about local activity we're getting reports of some pretty popular open homes, we're getting reports of first home buyer, well-presented stock that's beginning to build some hype again but still a flat market for now."