A $3.4 million property at Tihiotonga was the most expensive property to change hands in Rotorua so far this year - with a $61,000 house in Owhata the cheapest.

Figures supplied to the Rotorua Daily Post by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand showed the Tihiotonga property was the most expensive property - one of an increasing number of million-dollar-plus houses being sold.

In the nine months to the end of September, 14 of the houses sold in Rotorua went for more than $1m. That's up from nine million-dollar-plus homes selling in all of 2015, seven in 2014 and eight in 2013.

Houses selling for more than $1m made up about 1.2 per cent of house sales in the first three quarters of this year.


On the flip side, the cheapest properties to change hands included a $61,000 property in Owhata and a $70,000 property in Fordlands.

Three properties sold for $75,000 to round out the five cheapest - one in Reporoa and two in Fordlands.

The percentage of houses under $200,000 has also dropped.

LJ Hooker Rotorua principal Malcolm Forsyth said while a $3.4m property was not unheard of in Rotorua, it was "certainly unique" for a property in town and not at the lakes.

"It's a little bit of a sign of things to come. I think that is just indicative of what is happening in the market."

He said people were seeing the value in Rotorua, which had traditionally been conservatively priced.

Mr Forsyth said the Tihiotonga property probably had "stunning views" but showed "it doesn't have to be lakefront to command those prices".

"There's no doubt about it. Prices are on the way up."

Professionals McDowell Real Estate Rotorua principal Steve Lovegrove said the figures around the most expensive houses sold showed the shift in the general perception of the liveability and lifestyle benefits of living in Rotorua.

Mr Lovegrove said while people might be surprised with the high figures, what came as a surprise to him was how low the cheapest properties had sold for.

"I'm surprised at the lowest numbers. I haven't seen anything like those numbers in the 11 months I've been here."

Ross Stanway, chief executive of Realty Services, which operates Bayleys and Eves, said in all cities there were suburbs at different values.

"The interesting thing in Rotorua is you have both ends of the scale."

He said the differently priced properties appealed to different buyers for different reasons.

Mr Stanway said the increase in million-dollar-plus properties being sold reflected the renewed interest in Rotorua.

"Those higher priced properties are on the radar of more people."