Residential property values have risen in Tauranga but at a much slower rate than the previous two years, according to the latest monthly QV House Price Index report.
In figures released by QV, Tauranga home values rose 4.5 per cent in March, compared to the same month last year, and 1.9 per cent over the past three months. The average value in the city stands at $706,922.
In the Western Bay of Plenty, the market jumped by 8 per cent year on year and 2.3 per cent in the past three months. The average value in the district is $637,801.
In the report, QV Tauranga property consultant Steven Dunn said activity in the Tauranga market increased during February and March. However, buyers no longer appeared to have that fear of missing out, and were taking more time over making decisions, he said.
"Despite there still being a shortage of listings in areas like Mount Maunganui people are not jumping in, and are doing more due diligence and looking at the market and seeing what's happening with values before making offers," Dunn said.
"Prices in many areas including the popular Otumoetai have stabilised quite a bit with not much movement in values over the past few months.
"First home buyers are active and are finding it easier to purchase now there's less competition from investors," he said.
Dunn said it was easier for buyers to gain financial approval and get lower deposit loans as retail banks had eased back on the strict lending criteria of the second half of 2017
"We are still seeing the trend of people moving from major centres like Auckland and Wellington to Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty," he said.
Nationwide residential property values for March increased 7.3 per cent over the past year, the fastest rate in nine months.
The average house value nationwide is now $677,618, but when adjusted for inflation the nationwide annual increase dropped slightly to 5.6 per cent.
National QV spokesperson Andrea Rush said residential property value growth remains subdued compared to recent years.
But in March there was the usual seasonal pickup in sales volumes and activity, she said.
"This has seen nationwide annual value growth rise to 7.3 per cent which is the fastest rate in nine months but sales volumes are still lower than usual for March."
"The Tauranga and Hamilton markets are still rising but again at much slower rates than the previous two years," Rush said.