The number of Rotorua homes sold in July were up on the previous month but considerably down on July 2016.

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand has this week released national house data for July, highlighting a significant drop in national house sale volumes from July last year.

However, while Rotorua decreased from 139 in July last year to 85 this year, the number of house sales was up slightly from the 81 sold in June.

Rotorua also recorded the largest median price rise in the Bay of Plenty compared to the same month last year, up 8.2 per cent from July 2016 to $341,000, but down from $355,000 in June this year.


But local real estate agents are saying rather than jump to the conclusion the market is in decline, a number of other factors must also be taken into consideration.

Professional McDowell Real Estate principal Steve Lovegrove said July figures were as expected.

"While it appears there has been a significant drop in sales volume, 2016 was an exceptional year," Mr Lovegrove said.

"If you look at stats for the past two or three years, 85 sales is about average."

Also dictating the market, he said, was the shortage of available properties.

"We have significantly more buyers than properties available, both for sale and for rent.

"A tidy and well-presented home will get snapped up quite quickly."

Mr Lovegrove said the consistent incremental increases in median price highlighted a market in good health.

"Nobody likes boom and bust.

"I honestly believe Rotorua real estate is in a good place. There is a good hum on the street - people feel confident listing their homes and I think the next three to eight weeks will produce a dynamic resurgence in the market."

LJ Hooker principal Malcolm Forsyth said bank lending was another consideration in today's market.

"There have been a lot of restrictions put in place, particularly for first-time home buyers, and we are starting to see the results of this," Mr Forsyth said.

"While there is talk to an easing of the restrictions, it will take a little while to see the difference."

He said traditionally people tended to hibernate more in the winter and even rainy days could impact on the market. "And we all know there's been a few of those this winter."

"The upcoming election has caused an amount of uncertainty but I believe the wait-and-see attitude will taper off after a result has been announced."

Ray White owner Anita Martelli agreed banking restrictions and wait times were taking their toll on sales.

"Banks seem to be taking longer to make decisions regarding lending and their criteria has been tightened," she said.

"But I have to agree there is not enough stock to meet demand which puts pressure on buyers. We have people on waiting lists who cannot find the right property or, when they do, it is also the right property for other buyers.

"There is still good interest across the board including high-end homes in excess of $800,000."

All three agents said Rotorua remained an attractive proposition, for both price and lifestyle, especially for people wanting to escape the big centres.