Rotorua was in the top five cities to see the most growth in house values last month as larger markets such as Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch continued to cool.

The QV House Price Index for January, released this morning, showed the average value of a house in Rotorua is now $379,865.

That is 4.8 per cent higher than three months ago and now sits 29.4 per cent above the market peak in 2007.

QV national spokeswoman Andrea Rush said the figures showed Rotorua "remains a popular alternative to the higher-priced cities such as Tauranga, Hamilton and Auckland".

"The new loan-to-value [LVR] restrictions requiring a 40 per cent deposit for investors have not affected those investing in more affordable markets such as Rotorua as they have a lower entry level than markets like Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton and Christchurch.


"The LVR restrictions have had an effect on the investor market but not to the same extent as the higher-priced centres like Auckland.

"Interest from buyers remains a mix of people moving here who have been priced out of Auckland and Tauranga, existing homeowners trading up or down within Rotorua for personal reasons, first-home buyers and investors."

Speaking generally about the market, First National Rotorua principal Ann Crossley said there was a "positive feel" coming back.

"We don't have our own data for January yet but there's a definite good vibe out there.

"At the weekend we had open homes which had between nine and 16 groups through."

She said new properties were attracting multiple interest and first-home buyers were "getting a better crack" at properties with investor interest quietening.

Anita Martelli, co-owner and principal at Ray White Rotorua, said her team had been busy.

"There are still buyers looking for properties and multiple offers are still happening. The new listings we have are getting a lot of interest."

She said she could not see any reason why Rotorua's growth would not continue well into 2017 and beyond.

Steve Lovegrove, co-owner and principal of Professionals McDowell Real Estate, said January had been a "fantastic month".

"There's been a huge summer spree of buyers, I think if January is an indication of what will come this year, we will have a very strong 2017.

"At the end of last year there was talk of the market going backwards but that was an illusion of numbers. In November the sales were weighted by home owners who were buying at a higher value while December saw a flurry of investors buying the lower dollar value properties."

Mr Lovegrove said 2017 had started with "strength on both sides of the book".

"A house in Lynmore recently sold for $150,000 more than it did 18 months ago. The amount of interest is still very good, we are getting multiple offers on properties and we are looking to go into a good February and March."

Top QV growth - January 2017:
Kawerau: 57.5 per cent
South Waikato: 32.9 per cent
Queenstown Lakes: 30.7 per cent
Hauraki: 30.3 per cent
Rotorua: 28.7 per cent
* Compared to January 2016