Nearly 10 homes a day were sold in the Western Bay of Plenty in June, according to new real estate data.
The latest Real Estate Institute of New Zealand data showed 246 homes sold in Tauranga City and 48 in the Western Bay district last month - an average of 9.8 homes each day.
Tauranga's sale volumes jumped an 11.8 per cent from the 220 sold last June.
However, Tauranga's median house prices fell 0.8 per cent to $655,000 last month from $660,000 in June 2017 - which was the same figure in May 2018.
Simon Anderson, chief executive of Realty Group, which operates Eves and Bayleys, said the 246 sales in Tauranga last month meant the market had returned to "normal".
However, Anderson said 2016 was "the big year" with 316 homes sold in Tauranga during the same month.
The Tauranga and Mount Maunganui market performed 10 per cent ahead of last year for the first three months, which was a positive sign for the market, he said.
"The agents are still seeing good numbers through open homes but there is a lack of listings in the market."
He expected things to pick up heading into the warmer months.
Anton Jones, who owns First National, Mount, Tauranga and Ōmokoroa, said despite a busy market houses were taking longer to sell.
"First-home buyers and investors are coming back into the market," he said.
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said the drop in listings was reflected across the entire market.
"A lift in median house prices has been in areas where there are more listings in the market," he said.
REINZ regional director Philip Searle said the majority of the Bay's growth in June had come from Rotorua and Whakatāne.
"They were the only areas to see increases in both median price and sales volume," he said. "Additionally, the Rotorua District saw a new record median price of $440,000."
Searle said inventory levels continued to fall in the region which made any new stock "a very popular commodity".
"Despite the low listing numbers, the region is still active, and we continue to have plenty of multi offers," he said.
BUILDING IN THE BAY
Reiss Jenkinson and his partner Karlie Lett plan to build a home - and a family - in the Bay of Plenty.
Jenkinson, 47, and Lett, 32, who were born and bred in Hawke's Bay, are building a single-storey home on Pyes Pa Rd where they plan to start a family.
"It is not a big place but it is big enough to have a family," Jenkinson said.
The couple were living in Napier when Jenkinson was offered a job and a bigger pay cheque in Tauranga. "I moved in about two weeks," he said.
Jenkinson is renting in Tauranga and in the weekends commutes to Napier where Lett is holding down the fort until their new house is built.
The couple had been renovating their Napier home and were painting the exterior when a passerby approached them wanting to buy.
"Within two weeks we had sold it," Jenkinson said.
The couple shopped around for the best place to start their new adventure together in Tauranga.
"We looked around to where we wanted to create our lifestyle," Jenkinson said.
They looked at Ōmokoroa and The Lakes but settled on a 650sq m section in Pyes Pa.
"It is facing west, looks at the Kaimais and will have beautiful sunsets," Jenkinson said.
He said the house and land package was almost "spot on" the city's median price of $655,000.
"Tauranga had got so much going for it," he said. "The original 'Tauranga-ites' are now a smaller number because so many new people are moving to the area."
Jenkinson said he had already formed new friendships within Tauranga's theatre world after stepping under the spotlight as Bert in Tauranga Musical Theatre's stage production of Mary Poppins last September.
He is looking forward to becoming a permanent Tauranga resident and is excited to be apart of the city's "diversity".
"You meet a mixture of people with a common denominator and you make all these new friends from all of these diverse backgrounds," he said. "Everywhere you go is exciting ..."
JUNE HOUSE PRICES AND SALES
Median house price: $655,000
Sale volumes: 246
Western Bay of Plenty:
Median house price: $651,000
Sale volumes: 48
Wider Bay of Plenty:
Median house price: $580,000
Sale volume: 435
Source: Real Estate Institute of New Zealand