The region's booming economy has helped fuel a 6.7 per cent jump in property values, a property expert says.

QV's May residential price movement index showed Tauranga average home values increased 6.7 per cent year-on-year to $480,727.

Values in Western Bay of Plenty also increased - up 1.7 per cent to $424,824.

A recent report by ANZ showed the region's economy was the fastest growing in the country - up 4.8 per cent year-on-year, compared to a national increase of 3.5 per cent.


Eves and Bayleys Real Estate chief executive Ross Stanway said the region was appealing to out-of-town buyers.

"These real-estate statistics are in a way of a consequence of [economic growth] but also a cause," he said. "Employment has grown 13 per cent year-on-year so people are coming to the region for new jobs with new businesses that have relocated here or existing businesses that are expanding."

Good properties were getting snapped up fast, he said.

"Properties that are well listed and marketed are facing a very ready and quick market. We're certainly seeing it now in our auction properties where there's a very high level of buyer activity.

"In some cases, we're bringing auctions with four-week campaigns forward to just two weeks.

"We'll also almost inevitably get multiple offers on good properties listed."

Mr Stanway expected the busy times to continue. "Days of winter being a quiet time are long gone. We've had some excellent months in the past couple of winters as people have a bit more time to go around to open homes and explore the market."

Greg Purcell, franchise owner of Ray White Realty Focus in Mount Maunganui and Papamoa, said the increasing prices in Tauranga were a result of strong demand in the area.

"People are having to go into combat over a property where there's more people going for it," he said.

Often people were up against Aucklanders who were used to a more competitive market and prepared to pay extra, having sold their Auckland home for a good profit.

"Sometimes that means people have to pay a bit more than they'd like to."

The Western Bay of Plenty's slower recovery was not unusual, with that market usually the "last to recover and first to go down", he said.

Everyone needed a house to live in but a larger property was a lifestyle choice and most Auckland buyers were leaning towards houses that were close to the beach.

Tauranga Harcourts managing director Simon Martin agreed it was "all a matter of supply and demand".

"There's good activity from a range of market places. There's local people selling and upgrading and then there's people from out of town moving into town."

The amount of housing developments in the area was encouraging to keep supply up and keep the market balanced, he said.

Lifestyle blocks were selling well in his experience and the statistics may not yet reflect that, he said. "They do take longer to pick up but we're having a good run in that area. I'm not sure if that's run through to the statistics yet."

Nationwide, residential property values continued to soar in May - up 3.1 per cent over the past three months and 9 per cent year-on-year. This was the fastest year-on-year rise in 15 months, taking values to 24.1 per cent above the previous market peak of late 2007.

QV national spokeswoman Andrea Rush said the market continued to be affected by activity in larger centres.

"The steepening line of the national index reflects value increases across all of New Zealand's main centres over the past three months, with the exception of Wellington, which is showing a slight decrease," she said.