Bay homes are earning almost $80 a day more than the average worker, as Rotorua house prices play "catch up" with other parts of the country.

The median wage in the Bay of Plenty is $120 a day - and the median house price in the region is growing to $197.90 a day.

That means Bay houses are earning just under $78 a day more than the average worker.

The median annual wage in the Bay of Plenty was $43,836 as of June and the median house price growth in the region as of September was $72,250.


These figures were drawn from the most recent Statistics New Zealand labour market data and median house price figures published by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

Ross Stanway, chief executive of Eves and Bayleys Real Estate, said the housing market had been getting stronger and stronger.

"There's no way that income could keep up with the rise in the housing costs.

"The current housing market is very good for those selling but if you're going to be buying another home then you're not necessarily going to be any better off.

"But it's unrealistic that wages should be rising with the housing market, they don't go hand in hand. There are a number of factors why the market is rising, people are more interested in coming to Rotorua, it's benefiting from the exodus of the people from Auckland.

"I think it's great for Rotorua and it will continue for a while to come," Mr Stanway said.

Rotorua Property Investors Association president Debbie Van den Broek said Rotorua's house prices were simply "playing catch up".

"House prices in Rotorua didn't go up for years. It's been a long time coming.

"We shouldn't lag behind Taupo, we have more to offer and we have a much better lifestyle than Tauranga.

"There was a while when we were on par with places like Dannevirke and Levin and they're nothing towns, we have much more to offer.

"We should be up there in prices, it's a good thing for Rotorua."

Mrs Van den Broek said wages and houses prices couldn't be placed in the same basket.

"But it does make it less affordable. If you are earning, you should get in while you can, even if it's not your perfect home, go for something you can afford today."

Rotorua Salvation Army corps officer Kylie Overbye said with the rise in house prices the organisation was seeing a rise in rentals.

"That's what people are struggling with. Those who would previously be able to make ends meet are coming in and they are shaving off everything and it's starting to affect their food bills, money is really tight," she said.

REINZ spokesman Bryan Thomson warned against using median house prices as a gauge for first-home buyers, who were more likely to target cheaper, entry-level properties.

Mr Thomson urged house hunters to know their financial limitations, decide what was critical in a property and be flexible on location.