Median house prices in Tauranga have edged over $700,000 as the property market picks up heading into spring.
The latest Quotable Value House Price Index puts the median value of a Tauranga home at $709,339, a year-on-year increase of 3.3 per cent and 1.4 per cent in the past three months.
Meanwhile the Western Bay of Plenty market increased 2.5 per cent year-on-year and just 1 per cent in the past three months. The median value in the Western Bay is now $630,254.
First National, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga and Omokoroa owner Anton Jones said the spring lifting of homes to the market had definitely come into play in Tauranga.
"The past six weeks have been quiet but there are certainly a lot more homes going on the market," Jones said.
"We're seeing good buyer numbers in the lifestyle market and a lot more first-time home buyers, possibly because investors are not so prevalent in the current market."
He said while there were good numbers of people wanting to buy a home they were "doing their homework".
"With the arrival of spring, vendors will have to present their homes well as there are more homes for buyers to choose from. They also need to be realistic about the price they want to achieve because if they are expecting the highs of last year, there is a chance their properties will not sell."
Simon Anderson, the chief executive of Realty Services, which operates Eves and Bayleys, also believed Tauranga was seeing the annual increase in listings.
"We are seeing more property come to the market," Anderson said. "And unlike the same time last year, when we were coming off the back of a wet winter and elections, the market is the market and it looks positive."
He said Tauranga's high values had made things tougher for first-time home-buyers.
"However, we are starting to see a lift in first-time buyers to the market which is possibly as a result of some investors relinquishing assets before the new legislative requirements come in."
He said the Tauranga market was not as buoyant as the Rotorua one but that was to be expected after the significant increases seen in Tauranga in 2016.
"The market has flattened out a little but that has not resulted in a drop in value."
Nationally QV general manager David Nagel said the arrival of spring had not had a dramatic impact on market values so far.
Nagel said while listings had increased significantly across most areas, quarterly value growth remained modest due to a lack of new market drivers.
"Supply has been constrained which, on top of stable interest rates, is keeping values at their current levels," he said.
"As we move closer to summer, I'd expect an increase in listings and sales although the degree to which this impacts value growth remains uncertain. With the current low interest rates set to remain until well into 2020, it's hard to see any dramatic changes to values outside of the usual seasonal fluctuations."