Sales volumes in the Western Bay were up 26.7 per cent last month, with one company recording its busiest December in 10 years.
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures released yesterday showed a 38.6 per cent increase in the number of sales in Tauranga in December compared to December 2013. In Mount Maunganui and Papamoa, the volume of sales rose 12.5 per cent.
Tauranga Harcourts general manager Nigel Martin said last month was the busiest December the company had seen in 10 years.
"The Tauranga side of the business was very busy last month. That's good volumes for December, that's for sure," he said.
In recent years, December had been a slower month with public holidays and people going on holiday, but that had changed in the past couple of years, Mr Martin said.
"It just seems to be that a shorter month tends to force people to make decisions," he said.
Mr Martin said nine properties were sold at auction on the last sales day of the year.
"I don't think it's going to back off at the moment. We're seeing some really good buyer activity going on and we're starting to see a number of new listings as well. For both buyers and sellers, it's going to be a good market to be operating in.
"We're pretty confident that it's going to be a better year again this year."
Realty Services chief executive Ross Stanway said sales volumes last month had also been the best his company had seen in many Decembers.
"December was a cracker for us. The number of properties coming on to the market increased and that allowed buyers to get out and about. It was a very, very good December."
During the last quarter of the year, sales numbers had been up as more properties were listed for sale, he said.
LJ Hooker Tauranga franchise owner Neville Falconer said December had also been a great month for his company.
"We were very busy, really busy. We signed up and sold properties between Christmas and New Year. We sold on Christmas Eve as well. It's hardly missed a beat really."
Mr Falconer said the start of the new year had also seen an increased number of listings, which would only lift sales figures.
REINZ sales figures for 2013 and 2014 showed very little difference, with 2799 dwelling sales in the Tauranga District in 2014 compared to 2796 in the previous year. In the Western Bay of Plenty District, there were 525 dwelling sales last year compared to 523 in 2013.
The three real estate bosses confirmed the sales numbers had not increased significantly, but said the stability was a positive and pointed to this year being as good or better than the last.
"What we're looking at is a really good, balanced, steady market, which is great," Mr Stanway said.
Mr Falconer said he was looking forward to the coming year.
"I think it's going to be a fantastic year for everybody. Not just real estate people, I think the local economy turn of money is going to be very good."
Mr Martin agreed.
"There is the ability in this market for the number of sales to continue growing. By no means are we at the top end of what we are going to see in this cycle," he said.