Tauranga's median house price climbed $57,500 between September and October this year - which is more than what most city residents earn in a year, new data shows.
The latest Real Estate Institute of New Zealand data showed the city's house price reached a record $1,050,000.
That is a growth of $57,500 in a month and a whopping $240,000 more than it was in October 2020.
Stats NZ data shows median weekly earnings for people in paid employment in the Bay of Plenty in 2021 was $1060 - or $55,120 a year.
It's the first time REINZ has recorded the city's house price as more than $1 million, which local real estate agents say is a new "norm" for Tauranga.
The city was one of three districts in the Bay of Plenty to reach record highs, including Rotorua ($695,000) and Whakatāne ($755,000).
Tremains Bay of Plenty managing director Anton Jones said Tauranga reached a $1m house price median "reasonably quickly" after breaking $900,000 in February.
"It's quite staggering really."
Jones said a lot of higher-priced properties were selling, many of them going for above $1m now.
"We had a new record of $1.9m out at The Lakes and in October, we sold four over $2m.
"It seems really busy. We have gone into a market that has kept going and going.
"There is a lot of competition for the same properties, which can tend to drive prices."
However, he said the listings had started to return.
Managing director of the Realty Group Ltd, which operates Eves and Bayleys, Simon Anderson, said it was only a matter of time before Tauranga hit a $1m median house price.
"It's very difficult now to find a property now at $600,000."
Anderson said the company had sold 14 per cent - or 500 - more homes in the last 10 months than it did the same time last year.
He predicted a lot of interest from Auckland and Hamilton buyers in Tauranga's market once the lockdowns were lifted but that will be short-lived and the market will start to flatten off with more supply.
"But it's going to take time."
In the meantime, he said first-home buyers would need to find other ways like calling on family or buying with friends to fund their property dreams.
"People always find a way. They will be more creative."
First National Real Estate Tauranga general manager Cameron Hooper said what was worth $1m was "not the early 2000s million-dollar home".
"That was the dream. Now that dream is up in the $2m."
And as the Auckland borders opened up there was still room for growth to happen in 2022, he said.
Harcourts Tauranga managing director Simon Martin said its average sale price had been at $1m for a few months.
"But it is just the average figure and not everything is $1m. Half of the properties sell for above or below that.
"[But] we are going to see a lot more of that. It is more the norm now."
Martin said it had been a "solid" spring so far and good properties were not lingering on the market for long.
Property Brokers regional manager for the Bay of Plenty, Simon Short, said the Bay's property market was becoming more and more popular.
The Whakatāne market, in particular, was "very competitive", he said.
"There is a migration of people out of Tauranga. That is a byproduct of when the market increases to a certain level there is going to be an exodus of buyers move down the country and Whakatāne is a benefit of that."
REINZ regional director Neville Falconer said Tauranga City's median house price of $1,050,000 was a record high.
"Tauranga is tipped as one of the tighter housing markets in New Zealand, properties are selling fast, and house prices in the city are some of the highest in the country.
Falconer said the Bay market continued to attract people moving out of cities, such as Auckland and Hamilton.
"Tauranga is one of New Zealand's fastest-growing cities, and as alert level restrictions ease, we expect to see more properties come to the market and an increase in activity from outside of the region."