Horowhenua is in the middle of a real estate boom with demand for housing outstripping supply.
The property market has caught fire due to a perfect storm of low interest rates, improving connectivity to neighbouring city regions, and changing social patterns brought about by Covid-19.
Real Estate agencies across the board are recording record sale prices and are crying out for new listings. There simply aren't enough houses for sale.
Properties across the region are selling within days of going to market. While it has to cool its heels eventually, there was no sign of a slowdown in sight.
Real Estate company Harcourts recorded 45 individual sales of housing worth almost $25 million for the month of August in Horowhenua.
Donna Everton, a prominent agent in the local industry for 27 years with Harcourts, had never seen the market so hot.
"The market is crazy. The minute you put a house on the market there is two or three offers," she said.
"Vendors are getting top dollar too."
Everton said the increased demand had come as a surprise, as it was generally expected that Covid-19 would have a cooling effect on the housing market.
While many buyers were from Wellington, there was interest from regions further north, like Tauranga, and Auckland.
That was backed up by data showing a huge amount of Auckland residents researching Horowhenua property.
Marketings and Media Manager Vanessa Taylor from realestate.co.nz said of the 57,000 viewers that browsed the "Horowhenua" section of their website in August, 13,700 were from Auckland.
Most of those viewers were aged 65 or more, suggesting they were could be looking to invest in property with interest rates being so low.
Taylor said Horowhenua topped the amount of browsing time, too. The average visitor spent 18 minutes and 15 seconds fixed on the region, almost three times longer than the national average of seven minutes spent perusing other regions.
"It's fascinating," she said.
"That region in the last 18 months has recorded record high, after record high, after record high."
Wilton and Co principal Ariana Wilton said while Horowhenua had always appealed to Wellington people looking to retire - cashed up from selling their city home - it now also appealed to working people now fluid in their working week.
"The need to be close to work isn't there for some people anymore. They are finding they only have to be in the office once a week," she said.
And while the average price in Horowhenua was now $443,000 - up 10 per cent on last year - it was still well below average Wellington house prices.
But the boom wasn't just fuelled by city folk. Local buyers were still in the market due to low interest rates, and the fact the region wasn't heavily reliant on tourism meant it had weathered the effects of Covid-19 better than others.
Property Brokers' agent Rohan Teaz said while there simply wasn't enough residential property to sell, commercial properties were also sought after as businesses attracted by price and location look to establish a presence in the region, especially in the transport sector.
"It's definitely a vendor's market," he said.
PGG Wrightson's sales consultant Cher McCartney said it was heartening to see that first home buyers were still strong in the market.
"A lot are using their KiwiSaver, or who have parents willing to help them out," she said.
"As we see more industry coming, and with more jobs being created within the building industry...people are seeing Horowhenua as an attractive place to live."
DoubleWinkel-Professionals sales manager Sharon Bannerman-Cooper said a lack of listings was creating a situation where some buyers had missed out multiple times on a house.
Bannerman-Cooper said with interest rates tipped to fall even further, she was optimistic that spring would bring about new listings, as it was traditionally a good time to sell.
"Spring should loosen up some of the shortness of property."
Some banks were offering fixed interest rates as low as 2.55 percent.