Record sale prices are being set in some Rotorua streets and buyers are putting offers on properties before they've had a chance to see them, according to local real estate agents.
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures released today showed the number of houses sold in Rotorua took a dip with 110 sold in October, compared with 115 in September and 159 in October 2015.
The median sale price was $371,750 - up 23.9 per cent on September's $300,000 median and up 51.1 per cent on October 2015's median of $246,000.
Ray White Rotorua co-owner Anita Martelli said she was surprised at the drop in sales.
She said her agency was listing properties that people were making offers on without seeing them.
"We had one property this week that went live on Friday and we had five offers over the weekend."
She said all of the offers were sight-unseen.
"So far in November there have been quite a lot of early sales. I expect that November is on track to be a good month."
Professionals McDowell Real Estate Rotorua principal Steve Lovegrove said the median price increase was significant.
Of the 33 successful auctions the firm had run recently, nine of the properties sold for prices that were street records.
He said stock was increasing and the drop in sales could possibly be because in some cases, vendors' price expectations were over and above what buyers were willing to pay.
However, he said properties that were well presented and fairly priced were selling - and auctions were continuing to prove popular.
"We are also getting investors from out of town unable to get to the property in time who are making conditional sight-unseen offers."
LJ Hooker director/principal Malcolm Forsyth said the real estate market in Rotorua was still strong.
He believed the increase in median price was partly due to the types of properties being sold and an increase in the higher end properties. Mr Forsyth said the drop in sales was not necessarily a bad thing.
"I could see it heading that way. I don't think it is a bad thing as we don't want to see a market run away with itself."
Mr Forsyth said after stock levels being "so low" limiting the choice for those wanting to buy, they were seeing a "consistent increase in stock levels".
"Overall it is a very confident picture. I still think Rotorua has so much to offer."
Ross Stanway, chief executive of Eves and Bayleys Real Estate, said the median increase was significant and reflected a significant increase in property prices, as well as more properties selling in the higher price bracket.
He said the sales volumes "still represented really good, solid demand".
"Prices have gone up but in Rotorua they are still at what most people would consider very good value."
- Median price for the month was $371,750
- 110 properties sold in October
- Median price up 23.9 per cent on September and 51.1 per cent on October 2015