Kaysha Brownlie

Not only is 23 year old George Horsfall one of Gisborne's youngest real estate agents, he is also one of their youngest house-owners.

According to research from Credit Simple, Gisborne has New Zealand's second highest proportion of mortgage holders under 30.

And Mr Horsfall was eager to be a part of it.

"I've been obsessed with houses my whole life really, I've always followed the markets. It's something I've always been familiar with and I've always wanted to do it," he says.

He snapped up a three-bedroom home at Wainui beach for $325,000.

"I just didn't take no for an answer, I got declined by a lot of banks but the BNZ, they were good to me and I managed to convince them that that's what I wanted to do."

Bronwyn Kay Real Estate agent Sarah Eriksen says it all comes down to affordability.

"Our house prices are much lower, much much lower, it's no comparison to Auckland, Tauranga, Hawkes Bay as well, you can get a decent house for under $200,000 here.'

But, she says those prices are rising due to the housing crisis in Auckland. People are fleeing from the pricey market to Tauranga and Hamilton, pushing more people to other areas like Gisborne, she says.

Ms Eriksen's last sale was to the Kata family, who saw buying in the Gisborne market as their only option.

Fisiinaua Kata says he felt lucky, like a "dream come true" after he and his partner bought a house for their four children to live with them in.

"[Gisborne] had the cheapest price out of what I compare[d] with different cities, I think they had more options."

The average price for a home in Gisborne is around $250,000, a quarter of the average price in Auckland.

Prices in Gisborne are up nine per cent on this time last year. Real Estate agents say a lot of the buyers are people like the Katas, moving into the area for the affordable lifestyle.

George Horsfall sees his purchase as just the first of many. He's now looking for a second property.