The suburb said to have inspired the book and film Once Were Warriors has New Zealand's fastest-growing house value rises - while a million-dollar-plus Auckland waterfront area is the worst performer.

CoreLogic has released a list of 50 suburbs with the fastest-rising and 50 fastest-falling house values throughout New Zealand.

A scene from the film Once Were Warriors. Photo/File.
A scene from the film Once Were Warriors. Photo/File.

In what seems to be a logic-defying trend, house values in Rotorua's Fordlands - supposedly the suburb that inspired Once Were Warriors - rose 23 per cent in the year to March, 2019 while values in Belmont on the North Shore fell the most, down 6.8 per cent.

Fordlands, Rotorua: NZ's biggest house value rise. Photo/Ben Fraser
Fordlands, Rotorua: NZ's biggest house value rise. Photo/Ben Fraser

Data for the year to March 2019 was issued with a commentary which acknowledged Auckland's falling fortunes and the rise of other areas, saying "as values struggle in the super city, variance in suburbs emerge."

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Second-fastest annual rising house values were in the south Waikato's Tirau up 22.4 per cent, followed by Turangi up 22.3 per cent, Hastings' Flaxmere up 21.3 per cent, Eketahuna up 20.3 per cent, Napier's Maraenui up 19.4 per cent and Dannevirke up 19.2 per cent.

Conversely, North Shore house values fell the fastest: Sunnynook was down 6.3 per cent, Murray Bays down 6.2 per cent, Waiake down 6 per cent, Hauraki down 6 per cent and West Harbour down 5.9 per cent.

But the variance in prices was striking: just $226,900 median at Fordlands compared to Belmont's $1.1m.

"Looking outside Auckland, we get further confirmation of the strength of the regions as a whole with suburbs in Rotorua, South Waikato, Taupō, Hastings and Tararua District all experiencing growth of more than 20 per cent over the year. The lower value of property in these places is no doubt a factor in this growth, with low interest rates keeping mortgage payments low," CoreLogic said.

Belmont on the North Shore, overlooking Takapuna Grammar pre-repair. Photo/ Brett Phibbs
Belmont on the North Shore, overlooking Takapuna Grammar pre-repair. Photo/ Brett Phibbs

The data came from Nick Goodall, CoreLogic's head of research and Kelvin Davidson, senior property economist.

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Property booms in Rotorua in 2018, price rise set to continue

In January, the Herald reported comments from Harcourts sales manager Colville Barbour who said 2018 had been a sellers' market.

"This follows on from a couple of years of strong growth and is reflected in the median sale price. Well-priced property isn't lasting on the market and often attracts multiple offers. This is great news for vendors as the extra competition can achieve better than expected prices," he said.

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Barbour said properties sold in 32 days on average and between 80 and 120 houses were sold every month.

Barbour said the Rotorua market had something for everyone and low interest rates helped buyer confidence.


Real Estate Institute data lately confirms the trend for areas outside Auckland to have the fastest-rising house values. The entire Rotorua district had a 30.1 per cent median price rise in the year to March 2018, REINZ said. In the year to February 2019, prices rose 6.9 per cent.

REINZ said three regions with record median prices in March this year were:
• Southland up 25 per cent to $300,000, from $240,000 a year ago;
• Otago up 21.6 per cent to $492,000, from $404,500;
• Hawke's Bay up10.8 per cent to $493,000, from $445,000.

Bindi Norwell, REINZ chief executive, said last month: "March saw 14 out of 16 regions experience an annual increase in the median price and record prices for New
Zealand, Hawke's Bay, Otago and Southland again showing the impact that a lack of listings has on price. The only two regions to experience an annual decrease in median price were Auckland and the West Coast."