It took less than 90 minutes for all 24 sections of Rotorua's Baxendale subdivision to be sold, netting its developers almost $6.2 million.

It also means that Rotorua's Brake family - among many others - have the opportunity to build their first home on their own piece of land.

Bayleys Rotorua auctioned the land, off Pukehangi Rd, at Motion Entertainment's conference facility on Thursday night with more than 200 people packing the venue.

Sale prices ranged from $210,000 to $300,000 with most snapped up by local families and building companies for a total of $6.186 million.

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The owners of the land, Rotorua property company Baxendale Developments, limited sale of the sections to a maximum of two per buyer saying they wanted to be socially responsible, fair and preferred them to go to local families.

Top prices were paid for the 10 sections bordering the Utuhina Stream with the overall average price paid $257,750.

Sections ranged in size from 686sq m up to a lifestyle block-type property of 4636sq m and were first advertised for sale just over a month ago.

Three of the lots are accessed off Pukehangi Rd while the remaining 21 come off Baxendale Dr.

Beth Millard, from Bayleys Rotorua, said she was not surprised all 24 sections were snapped up because interest in the subdivision had exceeded expectations.

"If you have an auction room full of people you have done a really good job, as long as you have done the ground work.

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"I was optimistic all 24 would be sold, I knew we'd have a room full of people, but you don't know until the night."

She said the two-lot maximum imposed by the developers was a good thing, especially for families.

"As a team we know there's going to be 24 opportunities for more growth in Rotorua and we are all about making sure it's what's best for the city.

"Rotorua is buzzing and the growth here is great ... but it's taken a long time for our developers to get an appetite for new developments," Ms Millard said.

Julie Brake, who works for Bayleys Rotorua as a PA, said it was very different being a buyer rather than a seller at the auction. She and husband Lance said even though they did not get the section they wanted, they were just happy to have a place of their own.

The couple have three kids under 8 and bought their section for $246,000.

"We have waited and waited, we tried to bid on a lot of them and thought it was going to be out of our reach, but are happy to have something.

"Everyone was so close, there was a bit of desperation in the air, you could really feel it.

"We've always wanted to find something for ourselves, now we will be looking at what sort of home we want to build.

"The kids are really excited too," she said.

Rotorua electrician Richard Adriaansz was stoked with his new section that he bought for $210,000 and is looking forward to building his first home.

The 24-year-old sold his first house to make the purchase and had been saving up for the last five years.

"But this is my first section, I always wanted to build a house, and it will eventually be my family home.

"The auction was pretty hectic and I did not think I was going to get a section, that's for sure.

"I waited until auction 15 before I made my bids, my limit was $230,000 and I got mine for $210,000 so I'm pretty stoked," Mr Adriaansz said.

Another Rotorua family bought two sections for $266,000 each and were planning to build new homes and move into one of them.

Kylie Stevens and Stephen McNab said the got the two sections they wanted. Their best friends came down that afternoon from Auckland and also bought a section on the night.

"They are our neighbours now, so that's pretty cool," Ms Stevens said.

She said they would take some time to decide what they would do, but building on both sections was a definite possibility.

Master Builders' Association Rotorua chairman Bill Clement said the prices for the sections were "pretty hefty", but "at the end of the day they will be looking to build some upmarket houses".

"There will be a bit of a process where they'll have to get plans drawn up and consents, but when the times comes I'm sure some of our local members will be keen to put their irons in the fire."

But, Mr Clement said Rotorua was still lacking in medium to low range priced sections, "so everyone can have a go at buying and owning their own house".

"At the end of the day I'm happy for those families who have managed to procure a section. It's good to know there's money around in Rotorua and not too many people are speculating and land banking."

Baxendale auction
- 24 sections sold
- Total of $6.186 million
- Prices ranged from $210,000 to $300,000
- More than half of the sections sold went to local families