Stephanie is a senior reporter for the Rotorua Daily Post.

Property market on the boil

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Rotorua's property market is continuing to creep higher above the 2007 market peak.
Rotorua's property market is continuing to creep higher above the 2007 market peak.

Sold signs are cropping up faster than ever with Rotorua's property market continuing to creep higher above the 2007 market peak.

Figures released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) showed 137 houses sold in Rotorua last month, up 25.7 per cent from January and up 44.2 per cent from February 2015.

Professionals McDowell Real Estate principal and REINZ Rotorua spokesman Ian McDowell said he believed the figures were the highest they had been since the 2007 market peak.

"It has been hard work since 2007 and now we are seeing that much-needed growth.

"I do believe it is heading in the right direction and don't see any reason why it will not continue that way, at least until the end of the year."

Mr McDowell said Rotorua's population had remained stagnant for a long time but with more people moving into the city, pressure was being put on housing, increasing demand.

"It's all sustainable growth and good for Rotorua. There are still great values here and people are realising what a neat place it is to live."

Ray White Rotorua co-owner and principal Anita Martelli said the figures confirmed the busy month her team had experienced.

"We have been extremely busy so seeing the increase in dwellings sold between January and February confirm that.

"There are first-home buyers taking advantage of the competitive interest rates as well as homeowners looking to make the next step up. As more people get on to the property ladder we see the flow-on effect and as a result there has been increased sales across all price ranges."

She said with events like Crankworx making Rotorua world famous, demand for properties was increasing, ultimately affecting values.

Ross Stanway, chief executive of Eves and Bayleys Real Estate, said there had been significant trends developing during the past 12 months.

"It's all pretty positive for Rotorua and the great thing about the local market compared with other property markets is that it doesn't experience the same highs and lows. Rotorua typically stays pretty stable."

Mr Stanway said Rotorua figures reflected a wider Bay of Plenty trend that was showing positive returns for the region.

"If you look at the factors influencing the increase in awareness and interest for Rotorua, there is nothing to suggest those are going to go away, so to be frank I don't think we are going to see a downside from this growth."

Rotorua house sales:

Median sale price

* February 2016: $288,000

* January 2016: $265,000

* February 2015: $240,000

Dwellings sold

* February 2016: 137

* January 2016: 109

* February 2015: 95


- Rotorua Daily Post

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