David is the business writer for the Bay of Plenty Times and Rotorua Daily Post.

Rotorua suburbs show jump in value

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PHOTO/FILE
PHOTO/FILE

All Rotorua suburbs have seen their values jump in the past year - with previously lower valued suburbs leading the way with the highest jumps.

New median value data from QVshowed Mangakakahi, Western Heights and Koutu as the suburbs with the biggest gains in the year to the end of June, with Auckland buyers playing a major role in recent sales.

Median values in Mangakakahi jumped 27.8 per cent, Western Heights 27.1 per cent and Koutu 26.3 per cent.

Hillcrest, Fairy Springs and Utuhina also saw strong gains. In value terms, the data reflected yearly gains of $52,000 for Mangakakahi, $46,050 for Western Heights and $44,000 for Koutu.

The smallest percentage rises were in Kawaha Point with 17.8 per cent, Springfield with 18.4 per cent and Lynmore with an 18.9 per cent rise.

Ross Stanway, chief executive of Realty Services which operates Eves and Bayleys Real Estate, said the suburbs seeing the highest median rises were ones that hadn't traditionally been highly visible on buyers' radar screens.

"Because of the price pressure at the top end of the market in other suburbs, buyers are now seeing real value and affordability in suburbs," he said.

In surrounding areas, Kawerau saw the biggest median gain of 39.2 per cent, with Whakatane up 16.8 per cent and Opotiki up 16.2 per cent.

"There are people returning to Kawerau from either other parts of the BOP that are now being priced out, and from Auckland. They are getting what they consider to be a well-built good value home."

Ray White Rotorua co-owner Anita Martelli said the firm was very busy, with the Lynmore and possibly also Kawaha Point data reflecting the shortage of stock.

"We've just had two recent sales in Lynmore and both were snapped up quickly with multiple offers," she said.

"Rotorua is seen as a really great place to invest in. We've got people wanting to sell up in Auckland and come down. They just want to come here for the lifestyle, plus they can buy an investment property as well."

Hielke Oppers, principal real estate agent at Harcourts Rotorua, said he thought the increase in the value percentage in the "lower spectrum areas", such as Western Heights and Mangakakahi, would have been pushed up due to supply and demand.

This was due factors such as to first-time home owners, often utilising the KiwiSaver scheme, rental prices increasing and investors coming from outside Rotorua, he said.

Steve Lovegrove, owner of McDowell Real Estate Professionals Rotorua, said areas such as Western Heights and Koutu were popular choices for investors and first home buyers.

He said they were seeing cases in those areas of older generations helping younger generations get into the homes, such as parents helping their kids.

Mr Lovegrove thought Rotorua was an attractive option for investors, but they wouldn't be able to get a "real bargain" as would have been expected a year ago.

July seemed to be a good month with around 200 residential new listings across the city according to the adverts, he said.

"This gives a lot more choices for buyers moving into spring."

Nick Goodall said CoreLogic had recently begun analysing buyer information for Rotorua, and the latest month's data showed that 13 per cent of Rotorua buyers were Auckland property owners.

John McRae, partner of Deloitte Rotorua and president of the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce, said there was a huge amount of pressure on property prices across the market.

"The council's recent announcement of plans to release more land for housing development is a positive move," he said.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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