Western Heights, Holdens Bay and Fairy Springs have been revealed at Rotorua's newest property hot spots.

The surge in property values comes as the city's property market is labelled the "star performer" of Bay of Plenty. Values in all of the city's suburbs have risen over the past 12 months.

In a report released by OneRoof today, the median values in Rotorua suburbs rose between 5 per cent and 24 per cent.

OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said Rotorua was high performing.


"Rotorua is the star performer in the Bay of Plenty. We're seeing a lot of growth there still and that's largely due to the more affordable housing stock and the fact you're close to Tauranga, a centre people feel priced out of.

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"The levels of growth may change but it's still a vibrant town that has lots going for it."

According to the OneRoof report, which uses data compiled by Valocity and is available in today's Rotorua Daily Post, Western Heights, Holdens Bay and Fairy Springs have enjoyed the largest rise in median value in the 12 months to November 2018.

In those 12 months, the median value in Western Heights increased 24 per cent to $339,000, in Holden's Bay it rose 20 per cent to $410,000 and in Fairy Springs it rose 20 per cent to $382,000.

The smallest increase was still 5 per cent in Tikitere which reached a median value of $972,000.

First National principal Ann Crossley said the statistics weren't surprising.

"It's been great news for Rotorua.

"The one thing that has changed, and it will take a while for this to impact, is that investors are cautious because there's so much change in legislation at the moment.

First National principal Ann Crossley. Photo / File
First National principal Ann Crossley. Photo / File

"They are holding back and not making decisions."

Crossley said going forward some investors may decide to withdraw from the market and that would have a good effect on supply.

"I think it's still a sellers' market because there's not enough for buyers. It's not as frantic as it was so buyers might feel a bit more relaxed but I don't believe they are in control," she said.

Harcourts sales consultant Hielke Oppers said despite the increases in value, Rotorua was still affordable compared to other towns but he thought growth could slow.

"If you look at all of our neighbouring towns, there's definitely an indication it's going to slow down at some point.

"We've had good growth but it's not been at a pace that's going to result in a decline. I'm predicting we'll continue to see growth in 2019 and 2020, it will just be a bit slower."

Harcourts sales consultant Hielke Oppers. Photo / File
Harcourts sales consultant Hielke Oppers. Photo / File

Oppers said he expected incoming legislation to have an effect on the market, maybe resulting in an increase in properties on the market.

Remax Rotorua owner and sales associate Donna Russell said the Rotorua property market was "amazing".

"Our average sales price has gone up considerably. When I started selling a few years ago it was about $350,000 now it's about $430,000 and the days to sell are the lowest they've been since June last year."

Russell said the $350,000 to $400,000 price bracket was still the most popular but she was seeing more properties sell in the higher price bracket too.

"I think it will slow because we follow Auckland trends but at the moment I'm as busy as ever."

She said she was still getting multiple offers on houses and had two houses sell under contract just on Friday.

"I had one sell under contract about seven days into the market ... houses are all selling over the government valuations and well over."

Rotorua suburbs where median values rose the most
Rotorua suburbs where median values rose the most

Valocity's director of valuation and innovation James Wilson said Rotorua was one of the few territorial authorities to have all its suburb's median values increase in a year.

"There was strong growth across the board. Most of it is relatively affordable compared to other areas. It's really appealing to first home buyers and also investors.

"We're seeing a surge in values as they are chasing well-priced investment properties but also good rental returns."

Wilson said Rotorua was one of the high performers in the Bay of Plenty but the large percentage increases didn't necessarily equate to large dollar increase as values were low.

"In the wider Bay of Plenty what we're seeing is the catch-up effect. Areas like Rotorua that have had historic lows are now being filled by first-home buyers, investors and retirees.

"What may happen going forward is the main urban centres have had stalled growth or they've gone backwards ... in the regions, we would expect to see the rate of growth slow down," he said.

"There are a lot of changes going on and all of those things are adding to more cautious market behaviour and a wait-and-see approach that will equate to a slowed down rate of growth."

The data also showed Hillcrest, Ōwhata and Westbrook were the most popular suburbs with the most sales in the 12 months to November 2018.

In Hillcrest 338 houses were sold forming a total sales value of $242.8 million.

In Ōwhata there were 137 sales and in Westbrook, there were 125.

Rerewhakaaitu, Ngapuna and Ōhinemutu had just one sale each last year and other rural suburbs like Horohoro and Mourea also had fewer than 10 sales.