Hot spots in Tauranga's property market leading up to the level 4 lockdown have been revealed.
But those suburbs topping the list for value growth before lockdown could be at risk of coming under pressure in the post Covid-19 property climate.
Tauranga real estate experts say more established suburbs with sustained buyer interest were more likely to weather the effects but areas popular with first-home buyers meant job security will be a key decider in the suburbs' survival.
The latest OneRoof Property Report showed median values in Poike climbed 4.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 to reach $495,000 on March 25, the day before lockdown.
Gate Pa jumped 4 per cent to $520,000, Mount Maunganui 3.9 per cent to $805,000, Greerton 3.7 per cent to $560,000 and Brookfield 3.5 per cent to $595,000.
Suburbs with the least amount of growth in the three months leading up to lockdown included Tauriko, Papamoa, Matapihi, Bethlehem and Judea.
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said suburbs that could be in a stronger position to weather the Covid-19 crisis depended on who was buying.
"Suburbs that will do well include those that have typically held value or had higher price brackets.
"Suburbs that may come under pressure are suburbs that are popular with first-home buyers and investors.
"These are areas where people may have to sell because they have lost their jobs or may not have the savings to get them through."
Vaughan said first-home buyers and investors had fuelled Tauranga's growth but may fall without its investor card and it will be "doubly hard" for Rotorua because of its strong tourism sector.
"What Tauranga will find is that the development sector is going to pause. There may be fewer apartment complexes come to the market and fewer appetite for investors. That will take a hit.
"But with Rotorua, there is going to be job pressure and lack of employment. It faces more challenges than Tauranga."
Vaughan said the good news was both areas may bounce back faster if first-home buyers who could afford to buy returned to the market, though the true impact would not be known for at least another six months.
"The property market is still in a state of shock. We won't really know how bad things are or how strong certain areas are until we get further past lockdown and move into a level 2 situation."
General manager of Tremains Bay of Plenty and Waikato, Anton Jones, said there had been strong first-home buyer and investor activity in the first three months of 2020.
"Those more affordable areas were always going to have higher growth."
Going forward, Jones said it would depend on how many first-home buyers had lost money in their KiwiSaver, the banks' appetite to lend more for less, and job security.
"Certainly job security or lack of it will have an effect. So will general decision making based on what people have experienced in the last few weeks, whether they like the home they have spent lockdown in anymore or whether they have a job or not."
First National Tauranga general manager Cameron Hooper said the growth rates for Tauranga's suburbs had been consistent leading up to lockdown.
But, he said, the second quarter would look "completely different".
"I don't think any suburb won't be affected by this [Covid-19]... It will be unemployment that will be the biggest setback."
Despite this, Hooper said a few homes had sold during lockdown and "little things", including low-interest rates and the removal of the LVR, would prove positive, particularly for first-home buyers.
Tauranga Harcourts managing director Simon Martin said the activity he had seen in the property market so far in level 3 had been encouraging.
"It is creating a bit of a bottleneck with property viewings and it is causing a bit of pressure."
But he was pleased there were listings coming through and new properties coming on to the market.
Martin said there were many factors moving forward that would influence the market.
"There are some positives for the market with LVR rates removed, interest rates are the lowest they have ever been and with no new cases people will start to look at New Zealand as a place to be long term."
Valocity director of valuation and innovation James Wilson said the impact on value levels was tricky to predict but analysis from past events showed heightened uncertainty did lead to more cautious behaviour.
Wilson said the confidence of housing market participants would have taken a major hit.
"It will take a joint effort from Government, Reserve Bank and the private sector to begin to turn this dial back into more positive territory."
The impact on value levels, Wilson said, was more difficult to predict and he advised those seeking to make their next purchase decision to consider the longer-term drivers on the immediate location.
"Ask yourself, is this area supported by sustainable drivers such as access to employment, good schooling, areas of population growth, or is every home in this area owned by an investor, making the longer-term growth levels more exposed to volatility."