Rotorua's real estate market has moved to another level with almost half a billion dollars worth of property changing hands so far this year.
Figures released to the Rotorua Daily Post by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) showed in the first nine months of the year, $446,906,379 worth of property sold in Rotorua.
It is a massive increase from the $277,426,430 worth of property sold in the same period last year.
The number of properties changing hands was also up, with 1333 selling in the first three quarters of 2016 compared to 937 during the same time in 2015.
The figures also revealed the median sale price had jumped from $255,000 to $290,000.
The top suburbs in terms of sale numbers were Owhata, Pukehangi, Ngongotaha, Glenholme and Western Heights. All but Western Heights were also the top five in 2015, with Western Heights replacing Mangakakahi in fifth spot.
Ross Stanway, chief executive of Realty Services, which operates Eves and Bayleys Real Estate, said the figures were just a continuation of the good news he had been seeing.
The big jump in total value was impressive, Mr Stanway said.
"That does indicate that the interest is being sustained. It is not just a one-off."
Mr Stanway said a bonus was that the good figures came on top of a good base.
He said 2015 was a reasonable year but this year the market had "moved to another level".
"It doesn't come as a surprise. It merely confirms what we are seeing."
He said what was happening in the Rotorua property market was likely to continue for some time with values rising.
Mr Stanway said there was a good mix of suburbs on the top five list.
"Some of those were historically lower-priced suburbs which are now attracting investors and first home buyers representing really good value for money, particularly for first home buyers.
"Springfield, Glenholme and Pukehangi are all reasonably sought after. They are really coming through strongly."
They represented a good mix of different price ranges.
There was a renewed confidence in Rotorua with commercial developments and the economy strengthening, Mr Stanway said.
Professionals McDowell Real Estate Rotorua principal Steve Lovegrove said his agency was starting to see sales numbers settle and during the past three months the volume of sales had been "more like average than exceptional".
He believed several factors had an impact including the weather, school holidays, elections and the change in investment rules.
However, Mr Lovegrove said he believed prices would continue to rise.
"People are willing to pay more and they need to pay more because properties are scarce."
He said part of that was Aucklanders wanting to move to Rotorua for a more affordable lifestyle.
Mr Lovegrove said he was starting to see a lack of stock purely because the "fat of a good stock level has been chewed up" in the past few months.
"We are living each day on the new stock that comes in. What comes in goes out and, in some cases, very quickly."
Mr Lovegrove said when growth was constant and consistent it was all that could be asked for.
Mr Lovegrove said he believed Ngongotaha was popular because people were seeing it as a good village atmosphere with easy access to state highways.
He said Ngongotaha and the eastern suburbs were his picks of places to watch.
"Watch the eastern side because that could really go a bit crazy."
First National principal and REINZ Rotorua spokeswoman Ann Crossley said she believed the suburbs most popular in terms of sales were the big areas that reflected a good mix of housing options.
"They have the older, classic 1960s houses right though to some quite new streets. They have really big, wide appeal and are great for first home buyers and investors but also newish properties for those looking to take the next step."
- 1333 houses sold in first nine months of 2016
- Total sales price of those houses was $446,906,379
- 937 houses sold in first nine months of 2015
- Total sales price of those houses was $277,426,430
TOP FIVE SUBURBS BY SALES
Owhata, 144 sales
Pukehangi, 101 sales
Ngongotaha, 95 sales
Glenholme, 90 sales
Western Heights, 82 sales