Property values in Central Hawke's Bay are rising at a greater rate than anywhere else in the region - so much so, the local council is being swamped with requests from buyers wanting to check out property records.
Latest QV figures show while values in Napier and Hastings have risen just 1 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively over the last three months, Central Hawke's Bay has seen values rise 5.9 per cent in that time.
The average value there is now $347,290, up 20.9 per cent year on year.
"Market activity has certainly slowed over the winter months across Napier and Hastings, with many agents reporting the lowest number of listings since records began," QV Hawke's Bay Property Consultant Nicola Walden said.
"In saying this, the lower-to-medium priced section of the market - properties up to $400,000 - is attracting plenty of demand.
"There appears to be a sense of urgency from first home buyers to make their first step onto the property ladder.
"The Central Hawke's Bay market remains busy, with multi-offer scenarios commonplace and many properties selling above expectations.
"Coastal properties with a view, in areas such as Porongahau, Blackhead and Pourerere Beach, are selling well. High values in the city-centre also mean that people are seeking more affordable property in rural areas such as Waipawa and Onga Onga."
CHB is becoming so popular with house-buyers that the district council last week issued a Facebook statement reminding people to book an appointment to view property files, as a staff member was required to be on hand for each viewing.
A council spokesperson said the council did not keep a record of how many people had viewed files but there was a growing demand.
"Property file viewings are popular, with genuine interest in properties from people outside the district, who are looking to buy."
Bayleys Hawke's Bay regional manager Kerry Geange said prices were determined by what buyers were willing to pay.
"We are now seeing properties being priced in the market, rather than vendors preferring to see what the purchasers will bring. This tends to result in vendors pricing properties at the higher end hoping the rates of growth will continue.
"We are still seeing very good prices on high quality properties. Where properties are priced above what a buyer is prepared to pay, these can sit on the market until the price both parties are happy with is agreed.
"So, as is often the case, not everyone gets what they ask for, but we are still seeing some good contracts coming together."
Harcourts Hawke's Bay general manager James Cooper said demand remained high across the region.
"We are still seeing strong competition in the market. In particular, properties going under the hammer in our auction rooms, are consistently attracting multiple bidders, with prices surpassing vendors expectations."