Six sales over $1 million have bumped Rotorua's media house price up a whopping 23.2 per cent in one month.
New Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (Reinz) figures released yesterday show 113 properties were sold in April, a drop from the 122 sold in March.
Rotorua's median sale price for April was $425,000, a 23.2 per cent increase on March's $345,000 median price and a 25 per cent jump on $340,000 in April last year.
Rotorua Reinz ambassador and First National principal Ann Crossley said there had also been a spike in sales in houses in the $250,000 to $500,000 range which had driven that price up.
She said two-thirds of sales were in that range and there wasn't a lot in the lower range.
LJ Hooker Rotorua principal Malcolm Forsyth agreed and said he wasn't surprised to see an increase.
"The median depends on what's selling and what we're seeing at the moment is there has been some good stock and some really good sales," Forsyth said.
"It's basically cleaned out the cupboard and we're not seeing the stock coming through. There seems to be a void of new stock coming on to the market. What that's going to mean for May and June is the number of sales will drop back."
Simon Anderson, chief executive of Realty Group, which operates Eves and Bayleys, said he was surprised by the drop in sales, though it wasn't a big one.
"I would have thought it would be more flat line. The trend now is a lack of listings so that could have some effect on the numbers going forward," Anderson said.
Anderson said there had been a number of sales in the top price brackets in April and there was a demand for good-quality homes.
Professionals McDowell Real Estate co-owner Steve Lovegrove believed the market had been affected by a lack of stock.
"It could almost be one of the lowest we've seen in a long time. That limits the choice for buyers," Lovegrove said.
"Anything that's well presented won't last long."
Lovegrove said while stock was low, the markets were healthy.
"We want properties to still be affordable but if we get modest price increases it creates confidence in the market," he said.
"Rotorua is sitting in a sweet spot for a marketplace. Being able to buy a first home is more achievable in Rotorua than other cities."
Harcourts Rotorua sales consultant Hielke Oppers said he expected the lull in available properties to continue.
"That's the reason why the number of sales are so low, not because of the lack of buyers but because of people not wanting to sell," he said.
"At the same time, as there's more demand, then that pushes the prices up.
"Prices are still increasing. I think it will level out but still rise because Rotorua as a city is becoming more attractive ... As long as there are more people wanting to be here we'll continue to see a shortage of properties.
There was also an increase in the number of four-bedroom homes sold in Rotorua, at the expense of three-bedroom homes.
In April 2017, 25 four-bedroom and 69 three-bedroom homes sold. This compared with 40 four-bedroom and 49 three-bedroom in April 2018.
Reinz regional director Philip Searle said the Bay of Plenty market as a whole was showing strong numbers. The median house price in the wider region was $570,000.
"There are more buyers in the middle of the market than there are listings.
"There is a good interest in the upper end of the market, with the majority of the out of town buyers being from Auckland."
Searle said Rotorua was experiencing increased competition for listings.
"Looking forward, the sales results for the end of autumn will depend on listing numbers, especially with the increased interest from first home buyers."
The drop in sales is not in line with nationwide figures.
Around the country 6368 properties sold in April, a 6.6 per cent jump on the same time last year and the highest year-on-year increase for the industry in 23 months.