The Rotorua suburb that often makes headlines for the wrong reasons is reaping the rewards from the city's housing boom.
QV figures for the second quarter, released today, show Fordlands has seen a 96 per cent rise in median price in the last five years, going from $82,000 in the second quarter of 2012 to $160,750 for the same period in 2017.
There were six house sales in the three months to June 2012 and seven sales in the three months to May 2017.
However the median value of the suburb as at July 31 was still the lowest in the city, at $171,100.
The median prices for Mangakakahi, Ngongotaha and Western Heights have also experienced jumps of 81.6 per cent, 65.6 per cent and 63.2 per cent respectively in the last five years.
Mangakakahi has gone from $185,000 and nine sales in the second quarter of 2012 to $336,000 with nine sales in quarter two of 2017.
Ngongotaha had 20 sales and a median price of $213,500 in 2012, compared with the 18 sales and median price of $353,500 in 2017.
Eight houses were sold in Western Heights in the second quarter of 2012, creating a median price of $156,250. For the same period in 2017, 21 houses were sold, with the median price shifting to $255,000.
The suburbs with the highest median values as at July 31 were Lynmore, Springfield and Kawaha Point with values of $563,550, $490,000 and $469,600 respectively.
In the last quarter to May, 10 houses were sold in Lynmore, 27 in Springfield and 10 in Kawaha Point.
Steve Lovegrove, Professionals McDowell Real Estate co-owner and principal, said traditionally lower socio-economic areas were seeing a resurgence in home ownership.
"With a general shortage in housing, there has been a lot of pressure on the traditionally lower market which is pushing the prices up.
"As rents increase, it is becoming a better option to buy so it will be interesting to see if in suburbs like Fordlands and Western Heights, there are transitions back to home ownership from what has been for a long time typically rented areas."
He said the rapid growth in the lower end of the market was due to the low starting point.
"The reality is there's been healthy growth across the board and I think we will continue to see Rotorua grow in its attractiveness to out of town buyers."
LJ Hooker Rotorua principal Malcolm Forsyth said jumps in Fordlands' median price came as no surprise.
"Fordlands gets a bad rap from time to time but this result doesn't surprise me. It was insanely affordable to buy there in 2012 and it is still affordable, despite seeing a big increase.
"For investors there is still exceptional return for properties in this area."
He said suburbs like Western Heights and Owhata continued to be highly popular with first-home buyers.
"I think in the third quarter we will see a more sideways move. There's a little hesitation in the market at the moment with the election being thrown into close contest. People are waiting for the result to get on with it."
Lynmore, Springfield and Glenholme were still the most desired suburbs, though stock was limited in these areas, he said.
Simon Anderson, chief executive of Realty Services, which operates Eves and Bayleys, said the last five years had seen an influx of outside investors into areas like Fordlands and Western Heights.
"Investors and first home buyers typically compete for the same product, but in the last quarter I imagine there's been a steadying of figures as investors pull back.
"Advice to first-home buyers is to lower your sights and hop on the property ladder as soon as possible.
"Rotorua has really lifted its game, everything is looking positive and I think after the election things will pick up again."