Interest from out-of-towners, expats returning from overseas and low interest rates are pushing Rotorua house values up - and the good news is it looks set to continue.
Rotorua's average house value has risen 8.9 per cent over the past 12 months, and remains above the 2007 market peak for the second month in a row.
The QV House Price Index for January, released yesterday, showed the current average value of a house in Rotorua is $295,241 - 8.9 per cent higher than last January and up 2.5 per cent from three months ago.
Average values now sit 0.5 per cent above the 2007 market peak.
Ross Stanway, chief executive of Realty Services, which operates Eves and Bayleys Real Estate, said the rising values were a step in the right direction.
He said eight or nine months ago values were increasing 2 or 3per cent.
"Now they're giving 9 per cent a nudge, that bodes well for the sort of demand we're now seeing."
Mr Stanway said Rotorua was benefiting from renewed awareness particularly, but not exclusively, from Auckland buyers.
"A lot of expats are coming back home."
He said people who were wanting to move to Rotorua, but who weren't necessarily in a position to do so straight away, were buying investment properties to give themselves a stake in the market.
Mr Stanway said the factors which were pushing values up - like the out-of-town interest, expats returning and low interest rates - were likely to continue to have a positive effect on the market for some time.
"Those factors aren't going anywhere. How long [it will last] I don't know but it's good while it lasts and it is certainly good for Rotorua."
Ray White Rotorua co-owner and principal Anita Martelli said they had been busy with out of town buyers.
"I think a lot of people have woken up to the fact that Rotorua is central, we have all the lakes and a lot of mountain bikers are coming here to live as well as a lot of people trying to have that work-life balance."
She said everyone who loved it here brought their friends from out of town and some of them were moving to the city too. an McDowell, from The Professionals McDowell Real Estate, said some people were coming back from Australia but out-of-town buyers were predominantly those moving from within New Zealand.
"Traditionally people went from Auckland to Tauranga or the Mount but they are now liking Rotorua.
"Many of them are coming for the lifestyle, they are finding Rotorua a very attractive place to live."
Additional reporting Kyra Dawson.
Rotorua average house values:
* January 2016: $295,241
* Up 8.9 per cent from January 2015
* Up 0.5 per cent from 2007 peak