Papamoa East couple Sheree Norris and husband Paul have just listed their four-bedroom, two bathroom Wairakei Ave property for $309,000 more than they bought it for four years ago.
Mrs Norris said they recently renovated the property, which included new carpet, painting and wallpapering throughout along with other improvements, in preparation for sale.
"We bought the property, which was originally built in 2004, just over four years ago for $420,000, and have listed it for $729,000 which is the latest QV figure, and want to get at least that amount, " she said.
Mrs Norris said she and her husband planned to build a slightly bigger home in the newer part of Golden Sands.
Mrs Norris said the decision to build rather than buy another home was made because it meant they did not have to increase their debt, plus they wanted to continue to live in the same area.
"We have been pretty shocked by the amount properties have increased in value in the past four years, but when you look around it doesn't seem to take long for houses to sell in this area as soon as they're listed," she said.
The Papamoa mother said she and her husband decided to sell now because of the buoyant housing market, and believed they would have no difficulty in selling quickly.
Property values up 28.1%
Property values in Tauranga have risen 28.1 per cent year on year to more than $644,000, according to the latest QV report.
Experts agreed the market had begun to level off but many expected another increase heading in to summer.
Since September 2015 home values in Tauranga have risen 28.1 per cent, rising 7.4 per cent in the past three months. The average house value in the city was now $644,297.
In the Western Bay of Plenty the values have risen 29.3 per cent, with the average value in the district now $574,993.
QV Home Value Tauranga registered valuer David Hume said investor activity in the Tauranga housing market seemed to have slowed following the introduction of new LVR restrictions requiring investors to have a 40 per cent deposit - up from 20 per cent.
"Investors are still adapting to the new rules and the strong demand from buyers has stopped as suddenly as a 'tap being turned off' according to some industry professionals. It remains to be seen how these new rules will affect the market in the long term.
"There remains a lot of inquiry from first home buyers who previously were missing out to investors in a market which was predominately being driven by Auckland investors."
Ross Stanway, chief executive of Eves and Bayleys Real Estate, said buyers were now standing firm on what they were willing to pay.
"There is still buyer demand but it has been tempered by buyers having fairly firm view of the price level they are prepared to go to.
"There is now a levelling off of buyers willing to pay anything for a property they are interested in, that's not a bad thing. The market is taking a breather. We are still seeing good volumes in sales."
Mr Stanway said the market could pick up again in the summer with the influx of holiday goers.
"Many of them will be taking a real interest in the property market. That happens most years, but will happen more than ever this year."
First National Mount Maunganui, Tauranga and Omokoroa owner Anton Jones said over the winter months sales had slowed.
"We are still getting a lot of people from Auckland, probably not as many investors due to the LVR, that is starting to show in the rental side of things too."
A lot more listings would become available through spring and into the summer months, he said.
"Which will create buyer activity, the demand from buyers is still there but there is just not enough to buy."
Even not very well presented properties were still getting a lot of interest, he said.
Franchise owner of Ray White Realty Focus in Mount Maunganui and Papamoa Greg Purcell said the market was definitely slowing.
"It couldn't keep going at that rate. It's not sustainable. You can't go 120km down the road all the time, corners come up.
"Its probably a healthy soft landing to some degree. It was always going to level out, especially when you think of 1987, 1997, 2007.
"Interest rates are down and if immigration remains in New Zealand - they are still not building enough houses in Auckland."
Tauranga Harcourts managing director Simon Martin agreed "demand has softened a little bit".
"Since 2006 until 2015, then there was a big spike in one big swoop. The heat has come out of the market with the new LVR."
Mr Martin said the market could pick up again in the spring.
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