Buyers frustrated as Rotorua house prices rise

By Rebecca Malcolm -
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It is becoming harder to buy a house in Rotorua.
It is becoming harder to buy a house in Rotorua.

A shortage of houses has helped push up the median sale price in Rotorua, and buyers are becoming increasing frustrated when competing for properties.

Rotorua's median sale price last month was $315,050, up 10.5 per cent on the previous month and up 26 per cent on the median price a year ago.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures released yesterday showed 138 houses sold in Rotorua last month, a slight drop from the 179 sold in June but still ahead of the 120 sold in July last year.

Ross Stanway, chief executive of Realty Services, which operates Eves and Bayleys Real Estate, said the median was very competitive when compared with other places nearby.

He said Rotorua was still attracting significant interest because it was value for money.

Stanway said he believed a shortage of houses on the market was an issue.

"There is a shortage across most price ranges because there are buyers across most price ranges."

LJ Hooker Rotorua director/principal Malcolm Forsyth said he wasn't surprised with the increase in median sale price.

"There was only one way that median was going to go and that was up."

But Forsyth was surprised at the slight drop in sales.

"There are still people out there, still buying."

Forsyth said it was tough for buyers, who needed to be patient.

He said people were having to compete for properties, which was reflected in the increase in median price.

Professionals McDowell Real Estate Rotorua owner Steve Lovegrove said it wasn't so much a shortage of stock, as a shortage of choice, and listed homes were being snapped up quickly.

He said buyers were often having to take properties that "would do" or only ticked seven or eight out of their 10 boxes.

Lovegrove said buyers and sellers were often surprised at the sale prices.

He knew of one property bought four months ago for just under $700,000 which had been relisted and was now under contract for nearly $90,000 profit.

Lovegrove said it was a frustrating situation for buyers.

"There is no clarity on what a property is worth or what they have to pay to achieve a successful purchase."

He said buyers were also having to compete in multi-offer situations more.

"They are also becoming almost hostile when they get told they are in a multi-offer situation. Some are getting very upset by that because it is very stressful for them."

Property Glenys Rigby sold two properties on the same day last month.

She subdivided a section in Wharenui Rd and revamped the existing home while building a second home at the back.

Both were sold after one open home, which attracted queues down the drive.

Rigby said she knew the market was buoyant but was "blown away" by how much interest there was.

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