Sale volumes have dropped significantly in Tauranga but prices continue to climb, new figures show.

The median price for a house in Tauranga last month was $660,000 compared with $639,000 in June last year.

Latest Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures show the total number of sales in the city last month dropped to 221 compared with 317 in June last year.

The number of homes sold in the Western Bay stayed the same at 55 and the median price increased from $517,500 in June 2016 to $627,500 last month.

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Regional director Philip Searle said the Bay of Plenty market continued to show strong price growth, although the investment market had slowed compared to this time last year.

Read more: Bay of Plenty property sales double in a month
Tauranga median property sale prices continue to drop

"Quality family homes are sought after with a higher number of listings coming to market."

Mr Searle said sales across the wider Bay of Plenty region fell 33 per cent.

Despite this, REINZ chief Bindi Norwell said record median prices had been seen in three regions this month, including the Bay of Plenty.

The median price across the Bay region rose $69,000, up 14 per cent, compared to June 2016 to reach a new record high.

Simon Anderson, chief executive of Realty Services, which operates Bayleys and Eves, said the market had returned to how it was in 2015 after a big year last year.

"It was a very, very big year for the Bay of Plenty in 2016."

Mr Anderson said there had been a drop in the investment market but more transactions in high-end homes which were causing an increase in median house prices.

"Rural properties on Cambridge Rd had been selling really well," he said. "In the last couple of months, we have seen twice as many over $1 million homes being sold."

He said first-home buyers were also entering the market but were finding it difficult to find the right property. The number of Aucklanders coming to Tauranga had also reduced.

Anton Jones, from Tauranga First National Realty, said there were not as many homes on the market as last year, but he was still seeing good sales volumes.

"It tends to drop off during the winter, with people selling their properties in spring."

He said a lot of people were buying sections which possibly was not included in the house sales figures.

"The market is probably not dissimilar, but sections and house and land packages may not get counted in the figures."

Tauranga Harcourts general manager Nigel Martin said the market was "full steam ahead" 12 months ago but had settled down.

"We are seeing a bit of a seasonal market," he said. "We are in the middle of winter and there are less properties on the market."

He said there would be an increase in the market as the winter ends.

"We are confident people wanted to buy, but it is about finding the right property for them."
New home for Auckland couple

 Royce Marsden and Kylie Lawson with their children Brax Marsden, 4, and Bryar Marsden, 10 months, outside their Pukehina home. PHOTO/ANDREW WARNER
Royce Marsden and Kylie Lawson with their children Brax Marsden, 4, and Bryar Marsden, 10 months, outside their Pukehina home. PHOTO/ANDREW WARNER

Kylie Lawson and Royce Woods secured a two-bedroom family home in Pukehina last year.

Ms Lawson and her partner, both 30, moved from Takanini in Auckland after purchasing their 1970s-built "retro" home for $460,000 in March 2016.

The couple's decision to move from Auckland to Pukehina was influenced by where to send Ms Lawson's 10-month-old daughter and 4-year-old son to school.

"It was now or never," Ms Lawson said. "But in Takanini there was nowhere I was happy to send my children."

The couple sold their Auckland home for $460,000 and bought on Pukehina Parade for the same price.

"We have rural area on one side and the beach across the road. And the schools here are amazing."

Their Auckland home was a two-bedroom house on a cross-leased section with three homes on the same section. "We just felt like we were being suffocated," Ms Lawson said.

Now they have a two-bedroomed home on a 809sq m section which they were renovating.

"I now not only have an extra 10sq m but a garage, a sleepout, and another shed out the back, as well as two driveway areas. We just love it."

Ms Lawson's mother also bought a house across the road.