Rotorua's eastern suburbs have seen the biggest jumps in values since the 2007 market peak - something real estate agents say proves the value of "location, location, location".
Figures released today by QV quarterly Property Report show values in all suburbs now exceed the previous market peak with Lynmore leading the way with a 32.4 per cent increase while Owhata comes in second with a jump of 28.7 per cent.
The increases mean the estimated median value for a home in Lynmore at the end of December was $535,600 and Owhata had an estimate median value of $352,450.
The suburb that has increased the most in value in the 12 months to December 31 was Fordlands which jumped 34.1 per cent to an estimated median value of $159,150.
Simon Anderson, chief executive of Realty Services which operates Eves and Bayleys, said Lynmore was a sought after place to buy.
He said much of that was down to the location - which meant they were close to the lakes and forest and the popular local primary school which is zoned.
"People want to have that as their address."
Mr Anderson said when people moved to town from other areas they liked to buy in "the right area", and Lynmore was seen as that.
He said while traditionally slightly lower valued than its neighbour, Owhata was seeing the benefits of the interest in Lynmore.
"We'd love to have more listings in those areas. We've had some properties on the market hugely in demand in those areas."
Mr Anderson said he believed the overall market in Rotorua was positive with all areas seeing it.
"We just think the buzz is there. We can see the confidence in the Rotorua market."
Of Fordlands' rapid rise in value over the past year, Mr Anderson said part of it was likely due to a lower starting point as well as an increased interest from investors who saw the suburb as having good returns.
He said as other areas became less affordable people were looking at where they could buy, and places like Fordlands were very affordable.
Professionals McDowell Real Estate co-owner and principal Steve Lovegrove said people who moved to Rotorua for lifestyle reasons often wanted to be close to the lakes and the forest, as well as having the "Kiwi backyard lifestyle".
Other factors which made Lynmore attractive were its elevation, which meant some lake views, it was popular with mum and dad homeowners and faced northwest so was sunny.
Mr Lovegrove said people moving to Rotorua could often find the suburbs difficult to understand, but Lynmore was one they could easily identify with.
Development on the eastern side of town, such as talk about the widening of Te Ngae Rd, as well as the new facilities like Motion Entertainment and Lynmore Junction, also create interest.
"You can see a bit of moving and shaking in that side. Any modernisation is going to attract attention."
Mr Lovegrove said Fordlands' growth over the 12 months could be because of the good returns for investors buying rentals as well as some of the "traditional mindsets being challenged by a new set of buyers".
He said his firm was seeing good interest across the city.
Ray White Rotorua co-owner and principal Anita Martelli said Lynmore had always been a very popular suburb.
She said there was a shortage of properties and those that came up often sold very quickly.
"It's always been a strong suburb and obviously there is that crossover into Owhata."
She said Owhata offered a mix of properties from first home buyers, to investors and there were some beautiful homes in Owhata as well.
The close proximity to the forest and lakes, as well as the popularity of the school were also factors.
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