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You can expect to pay about $455,000 on a home in Rotorua, but where are the city's most affordable suburbs and where are house prices rising the fastest? Property reporter Zoe Hunter breaks down the latest OneRoof data.

Rotorua's average house price is nearing half a million dollars, new data has revealed.

OneRoof's latest property report showed people looking to buy a home in Rotorua should expect to pay $455,000 - almost 10 per cent more than a year ago when the median value of all residential property in the city was $415,000.

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House prices were rising the fastest in Koutu, Fairy Springs and Victoria but cooling off in Lake Tarawera, Tikitere and Hamurana.

The median value in the city's most expensive suburbs was $905,000 in Tikitere, $885,000 in Lake Tarawera and $845,000 in Lake Okareka.

The most affordable suburbs were Ngapuna where the median value was $310,000, Fordlands at $220,000 and Mamaku at $295,000.

OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan. Photo / File
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan. Photo / File

OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said the median value of all Rotorua properties was up 9.6 per cent year-on-year to $455,000.

"The majority of sales this year have been between $400,000 and $500,000, a price point that is reflected in the breakdown of buyer types," he said.

"The relative affordability of the region has fuelled strong interest from first-home buyers, who accounted for 20 per cent of new mortgage registrations this quarter."

Investors represented 15 per cent of new mortgage registrations last month.

Vaughan said the suburbs with the biggest growth in property prices showed affordability was driving most of the Rotorua market.

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"Of the suburbs that have seen 10 or more sales over the past 12 months, 16 suburbs have experienced value growth of more than 10 per cent," he said.

"Of those 16, just two - Lynmore and Glenholme - have median values of more than $500,000."

Vaughan said no suburb suffered a drop in median values.

"While the bottom of the table is dominated by high-price suburbs, that is more a reflection of the struggles within the lifestyle property market than problems in the wider Rotorua market," he said.

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Simon Anderson, managing director of Realty Group, which operates Eves and Bayleys, said people were seeing value in Rotorua and were happy to move there to get on to the property ladder.

Simon Anderson, managing director of Realty Group, which operates Eves and Bayleys. Photo / File
Simon Anderson, managing director of Realty Group, which operates Eves and Bayleys. Photo / File

"There is a house crisis in Rotorua, where there is a shortage of homes, plus people are seeing value there still," he said.

"People are willing to buy in Rotorua and work in Tauranga and are happy to travel between the two cities, plus there is demand from people living and working in Rotorua."

Tremains Real Estate Rotorua manager Malcolm Forsyth said Rotorua's house prices were tracking only one way and that was up.

Tremains Real Estate Rotorua manager Malcolm Forsyth. Photo / File
Tremains Real Estate Rotorua manager Malcolm Forsyth. Photo / File

Forsyth said trying to find a home at a reasonable price in the some of the city's more affordable suburbs was becoming more difficult.

He said the demand for property was there but the supply was not. However, he expected things to pick up again in the New Year.

National principal and Rotorua REINZ spokeswoman Ann Crossley was not surprised the median value had gone up in Rotorua.

Crossley said first-home buyers were buying mostly in the $350,000 to $400,000 price bracket, which freed people up to buy their second properties.

National principal and Rotorua REINZ spokeswoman Ann Crossley. Photo / File
National principal and Rotorua REINZ spokeswoman Ann Crossley. Photo / File

However, Crossley said people were buying across all price brackets but there were still really low stock levels.

"Properties coming on the market are getting a lot of interest," she said.

Crossley suggested upping the first-home buyer regional cap from $400,000 to $500,000 to allow people entering the market to get on to the property ladder.

Professionals McDowell Real Estate co-owner Steve Lovegrove said the increase in the city's average house price reflected that Rotorua was still an attractive place to live.

However, he said the increasing population was not keeping pace with the construction of new homes.

Lovegrove said unless Rotorua's popularity suddenly dropped he could not see the house prices dropping.

Rotorua's property market

Total dollar value of sales (past 12 months)

$605,969,556

How much you can expect to pay in ...

Rotorua - $455,000 (up 9.6%)

Tauranga - $670,000 (up 4.7%)

Bay Of Plenty - $750,000 (up 5.6%)

Where property prices are rising fast

Koutu | Median value $350,000 | annual change +16.7%

Fairy Springs | Median value $405,000 | annual change +14.1%

Victoria | Median value $410,000 | annual change 13.9%

Where property prices are easing

Lake Tarawera | Median value $885,000 | annual change +1%

Tikitere | Median value $905,000 | annual change +3%

Hamurana | Median value $837,500 | annual change +5%

Rotorua's most expensive suburbs

Tikitere | Median value $905,000 | annual change +3%

Lake Tarawera | Median value $885,000 | annual change +1%

Lake Okareka | Median value $845,000 | annual change +6%

Rotorua's most affordable suburbs

Fordlands | Median value $220,000 | annual change 13%

Mamaku | Median value $295,000 | annual change 23%

Ngapuna | Median value $310,000 | annual change 19%

The most expensive homes of 2019

441 Spencer Rd, Lake Tarawera - $2,500,000

1064a Tarawera Rd, Lake Tarawera - $2,203,171

91 Acacia Rd, Lake Okareka - $2,200,000

First-home buyers

Share of new mortgage registrations in the past three months

28.01%

Source: OneRoof