HUNDREDS of affordable homes are listed for sale in the Bay of Plenty area but a local real estate representative says increased demand is pushing up prices.

According to realestate.co.nz, 531 homes were listed for sale in the Bay of Plenty area for $300,000 or less as of July 1.

The listings included houses, apartments, studios, townhouses and units, but didn't include properties for auction or listed with "price by negotiation".

The search showed 391 of those properties were advertised for less than $250,000, such as a four-bedroom Selwyn Heights house on a 875sq m section advertised for $169,000.

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Another four-bedroom split-level home in Kawerau was advertised for $190,000.

Listings for Auckland city reveal only 136 homes with displayed prices under $300,000 most of which were one or two bedroom homes.

According to Westpac's online mortgage calculator, a $300,000 property with a 20 per cent deposit would mean repayments of $697 a fortnight over 30 years at an interest rate of 6.5 per cent a year.

Marketing consultant for Harcourts, Ian Macdonald, said house sales had increased in Tauranga this year compared to previous years.

"There has been a decent rise in the number of people looking, and the number of houses that have been sold in the area since Christmas.

"We've seen a number of people move from places like Auckland looking down here. I imagine as housing prices increase people will expand the areas they look at and Tauranga is a great place to invest."

Macdonald said there was more demand than availability for affordable homes in the city and there had been a consequent increase in property prices.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) chief executive officer Colleen Milne said more homes priced under $450,000 had sold outside of Auckland recently.

There were 12,383 dwellings sold for $450,000 or less outside Auckland between January and April this year. That represented 71 per cent of all sales in that time.

Between January and April last year, 10,736 houses sold in that price range, making up 72 per cent of all sales.

The number of properties sold under the Welcome Home Loan scheme in the Hawke's Bay also increased.

The loan scheme is run by Housing New Zealand to help first-home buyers borrow. Prospective buyers can borrow up to 90 per cent of a property's value. Selected banks and credit unions loan the money.

The maximum amount you can borrow with a Welcome Home Loan depends on where you are buying in as each region has a house price cap.

REINZ figures showed 631 properties sold at the Welcome Home Loan level in Hawke's Bay between January and April this year. That represented 83 per cent of sales and was up on 566 over the same time last year.

In the Rotorua District 290 dwellings sold for $450,000 or less. That represented 87 per cent of sales and was up on 231 the previous year.