Property values jumped more than 7 per cent in the Western Bay and nearly 4 per cent in Tauranga in the year to January.

The latest monthly QV House Price Index showed Western Bay house values rose from an average of $575,089 in January 2017 to $617,120 last month - a rise of 7.3 per cent. However, values dropped 1.7 per cent over the past three months.

Tauranga home values increased 3.9 per cent year on year, or $26,123 from an average value of $672,752 in January 2017 to $698,875 in January 2018.

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QV Tauranga Property consultant David Hume said strong migration continued to drive growth despite less activity from Auckland investors as their local market stabilised.

"Western Bay of Plenty continues to see good growth over and above the Tauranga area, partly due to the strong recovery of the kiwifruit industry in Te Puke over the past five years," he said.

Tauranga Multicultural Society president Ann Kerewaro had noticed an increase in migrants coming to Tauranga, however, she said most new residents were not buying houses.

Kerewaro said most migrants were either visiting, moved here for better education for their children, or had work permits.

"A lot of them may want to buy property. If they have a work permit and a reasonable job then they will choose to settle, but if they don't then they won't," she said.

Kerewaro migrated to Tauranga from the United Kingdom more than 50 years ago and said a multicultural community added diversity and colour to Tauranga.

The society's community liaison, Ewa Fenn, said more people from different countries had recently migrated to Tauranga.

"We had a lady from Ethiopia who moved here from Christchurch and her mother and sister came here straight from Ethiopia," Fenn said.


"There was also a lady from Nigeria and many Italians and people from Poland. Some come here from Auckland as well for obvious reasons like less traffic and a better lifestyle."

Fenn migrated to New Zealand in 1982 and Tauranga in 1986.

"At that stage I wanted to have children and if he [husband] was going to earn better money here then I wanted to have my children here."

First National, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga and Omokoroa owner Anton Jones said he had noticed a lot of people from Auckland wanting to buy in Tauranga.

"In general we are always hearing of people who have just moved to Tauranga and were looking for work ... ''

Jones said there were also a few migrants from different countries looking to buy, but not as many as people who have moved to the area from other New Zealand cities.

He said the market was beginning to pick up again after a short lull mid-January.

"We had our busiest month ever in December," Jones said.