Hawke's Bay's red hot property prices have skyrocketed in some areas by more than 10 per cent in three months, driven by a wave of Aucklanders moving in.
The region is experiencing some of the strongest house value growth in New Zealand, in stark contrast to many other regions that are experiencing a slowdown in growth.
Hastings, in particular, stands out with quarterly growth to January 31 of 10.8 per cent while Central Hawke's Bay continues to build on a strong annual growth figure of 19.6 per cent.
Napier is up 11.3 per cent from this time last year and 4.3 per cent in the last quarter alone.
QV property consultant Nicola Waldon said the price increase was being driven by the number of people moving in from out of the area, namely Auckland, and by developers wanting to make money renovating and on-selling houses.
"Overall, low levels of supply coupled with low interest rates continue to support strong value growth. Well-presented properties are selling quickly ... which reflects how busy the market currently is," Waldon said.
The average Auckland house will still set you back just over $1 million, but in Hastings you can get one for half that with the average price at $504,000.
Hawkes Bay's average house sale price is more than $100,000 less than the national average of $550,000 – average $445,000 - but the region has now watched prices increase by more than $150,000 over the past five years, according to the Real Estate Institute.
QV senior consultant Paul McCorry said Hawke's Bay had the potential to be the new Tauranga for Aucklanders.
"When you consider the warm climate and great lifestyle on offer in Hawke's Bay, with an average value of just over $530,000 it offers a more affordable alternative to other attractive lifestyle locations, such as Tauranga where the average value is now just over $720,000.
"That would suggest there is likely some additional headroom for further growth in Hawke's Bay."
For Napier resident Chris Hamilton the move from Auckland about two years ago was a no-brainer.
"A few times a year I would come down and visit my sister, who lived here, and I just fell in love with Napier," Hamilton said.
"The region is a slower and more relaxed place, where the people will actually stop and say good morning and ask how your day is.
"They don't ignore you and look at you sideways like they would in Auckland."
The huge drawcard in moving to Napier was its coastline, she said.
"I love just being able to cruise to the beach and down the coastal pathway in my mobility scooter and then go into town and see all the old Art Deco buildings, I just love it," Hamilton said.
"You can't get any of that in Auckland."