New figures show increased activity from first-home buyers in the regions, and while Hawke's Bay reflects this trend, the growth is not as strong as some other parts of the country.
In the year ending September 30, the number of mortgages issued by Westpac NZ to first-home buyers rose 12 per cent across New Zealand to 5553.
The increase was particularly pronounced in Manawatu-Whanganui, Marlborough, Nelson, Northland, Southland, Tasman, Wellington and the West Coast, with volumes rising more than 20 per cent.
In Hawke's Bay, 146 mortgages were issued by the bank in the last year, compared to 127 in the year ending September 2016, a 15 per cent increase.
Tremains Napier/Taradale sales manager Stu Christensen said the number of buyers purchasing had been strong for the last 18 months, and a lot of interest in properties around the $400,000 and under mark.
"There are a lot of first-home buyers in the market already - we are seeing 10 to 15 groups through at open homes which suggests they are out there wanting to buy."
This had been particularly marked in the last two weeks, following confirmation of the new Government, he said.
Professionals Hastings branch manager Ron Trezise said there continued to be a big demand for properties in the Hastings area, but not necessarily from first-home buyers.
With prices still strong, he said some first-home buyers were finding it difficult.
"We've got them coming through and they have been stalled at the moment trying to meet the banks' conditions."
This included requiring a 20 per cent deposit and having to prove their income sources.
"It's very difficult for first-home buyers the way prices are going forward at a greater rate than people can save.
"They're on a hiding to nothing unless Mum and Dad are putting money in, but the banks are still wanting to know where that money's coming from."
Westpac NZ chief executive David McLean said the housing market had slowed which was good for New Zealand.
"We need a sustained period of flatter prices so that as incomes grow, houses become more affordable."
Among the regions, the greatest growth in mortgages issued to first-home buyers was in Marlborough, which had a 74 per cent increase on last year.
Northland experienced a 44 per cent increase, and there was 26 per cent growth in Manawatu-Whanganui.
In the main centres, first-home buyers were attracted to Wellington where mortgages issued to first-home buyers were rising 43 per cent year on year.
In sharp contrast, however, volumes fell 5 per cent in Auckland, which showed entering that market was still a challenge for many people, said Mr McLean.
The more restrictive loan to value ratio rules for property investors introduced by the Reserve Bank on October 1 last year appeared to have given first-home buyers more room to make purchasing decisions, and contributed to the increase in sales, he added.