Rotorua Daily Post health and business reporter

Home values at eight-year high

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Fierce competition to get homes is pushing up Rotorua property values with the average now sitting at the highest level in more than eight years.

The average value of a house in Rotorua is $310,109 - up 12.4 per cent on the same time last year, according to the QV House Price Index for April.

The figures, released yesterday, showed the values had also risen 5 per cent in the past three months, and now sit about 5.6 per cent higher than the 2007 market peak.

Ray White Rotorua co-owner and principal Anita Martelli said the figures were great and were just another sign of the positive real estate market.

"The multi-offers are so strong we knew prices would be going up."

She said there was huge demand for properties and people were often wanting to look through homes as soon as they were listed on the website.

Ms Martelli said they would sometimes advise owners to wait until after the first open home, at least, to make sure they got a fair market price.

Demand was across the price brackets right up to the $400,000 mark, she said.

She said one of the biggest struggles was finding enough stock.

Ross Stanway, chief executive of Realty Services, which operates Bayleys and Eves, said any increase was positive, but to be looking at a double digit increase was a "very, very good positive step".

He said Rotorua remained affordable.

"The activity is being driven by a number of different interest levels including investors, first home buyers and people outside the district. It all bodes well for the direction Rotorua is heading."

Mr Stanway said stock numbers were a problem, but that wasn't unique to Rotorua.

First National principal Ann Crossley said the market was still seeing property prices rise and plenty of competition for homes. She said one property she was dealing with had five offers within a week of being put on the market, with 23 groups through the first open home.

Cases like that were not unusual any more, she said.

"It's not out of the ordinary ... it's quite a rare occurrence not to have multi offers."

She said some buyers were still finding the situation tough.

QV national spokeswoman Andrea Rush said the home values in Rotorua city had just ticked over levels seen in the previous peak of early 2008.

She said following the global financial crisis values dropped back by as much as 30 per cent and had been slowly recovering.

Ms Rush said it appeared recent growth in the Rotorua housing market had brought more work to construction industry tradespeople such as builders, painters, plumbers, electricians and plasterers.

Rotorua's QV property statistics:

* Average house value $310,109

* 12.4 per cent higher than April last year

* 5 per cent higher than three months ago

* 5.6 per cent higher than 2007 market peak

- Rotorua Daily Post

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