The latest real estate figures confirm what many people have noticed in the Bay of Plenty housing market over the past nine months, with house prices continuing their uphill climb.

According to Real Estate Institute of New Zealand houses in Mount Maunganui and Papamoa have seen the steepest rise in median price, 35 per cent, when compared with May of last year.

In May 2015 the median house price for the Mount and Papamoa was $470,000. In May 2016, median house prices jumped to $634,000. Month-to-month, this is a $11,500 increase from April 2016.

Compared with May 2015 the median house price in Tauranga for May 2016 rose by 33 per cent, from $413,000 to $550,250. Month-to-month, this is $12,750 up from April 2016.

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The number of houses sold in the Mount and Papamoa rose by 12, from 125 houses sold in May 2015 to 137 houses sold in May this year.

The number of houses sold in Tauranga fell, from 202 houses sold in May 2015 to 186 houses sold in May 2016.

Overall, the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region recorded a record median sale [rice for the fourth consecutive month, hitting $419,000.

REINZ regional director, Philip Searle said "the strong rise in median prices across the region over the past nine months is making it more difficult for first home buyers, particularly in markets such as Hamilton and Taupo.

"The tightening supply of listings is also having an impact on sales to investors, with many being left unsatisfied and strong competition driving prices upwards.

"At the end of May there was just over 10 weeks of inventory across the region, another record low for property availability across the region."