Yesterday was the time to buy if you're looking for a house, according to a Rotorua real estate agent.

LJ Hooker Rotorua principal Malcolm Forsyth's comments come as the latest CoreLogic figures show a massive leap in house profits.

CoreLogic's Pain and Gain report shows Rotorua homeowners banked a gross profit of $39.6 million from property sales in the first three months of 2018, up from $22.9m in the final three months of 2017.

The figure is collated by comparing the sales of homes during January, February and March this year, with the price they sold for previously.

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CoreLogic senior research analyst Kelvin Davidson said only two properties were resold at a loss in the first three months of the year, while 224 sold for a profit.

"Like the rest of the country, it illustrates that Rotorua's property market is still delivering good gains to owners who have held for a normal period of time."

The report also showed the median profit from sales in Rotorua was $154,425, down from $175,000 in the last quarter of 2017.

Forsyth said prices in the city had been on an upward trajectory for some time.

"If you're comparing what we're selling for now to a number of months ago you're going to find substantial improvements.

"Prices have been heading up, we know that's been the case. So to hear about the profits doesn't surprise me."

Forsyth said although house prices can't keep going up and up, they may level out.

"Nothing keeps going up or going down. What we've seen in the past is an increase, then a bit of a flattening out, then maybe a small drop.

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"A lot of people have been saying 'we'll wait till the prices drop' but my fear is they are not going to get the drop they are looking for.

"I think yesterday was the time [to buy]. Failing that it will probably be now."

Simon Anderson, chief executive of Realty Services which operates Eves and Bayleys, said the company had two of its strongest months in history in the first quarter of 2018.

"We saw a real lift in the market. It was almost like a post-election bounce or New Year's bounce. We saw really strong activity," he said.

"Now we've seen it normalise a bit back to a steady market, something that's quite sustainable. There's a real shortage of good quality listings available which is good if you're selling."

Sotheby's Rotorua principal Shona Duncan said the branch had a strong first quarter.

"Our results were strong, the days on the market were shorter, sales prices were high and we had a good number of listings.

"What we've seen between now and then is a change. The days on the market are longer and housing stock is lower ... there is still buyer demand but nothing to put them into."

Duncan said many houses were receiving multiple offers and it was a good time to sell.

The CoreLogic figures weren't a surprise, she said.

Ray White salesman James Alexander said the data showed Rotorua had "been discovered".

"It's still affordable for people coming in and they see confidence, and a long spell of it. They see development. New buildings are going up, new commercial buildings are developing."

Reinz figures showed there were 278 sales in the first three months of 2018 in Rotorua, compared with 292 the same time last year.

The best month for sales was March with 122 sales.

According to OneRoof, median sales prices in central Rotorua rose from $270,000 in 2017 to $312,000 in 2018.

For more property news and listings go to oneroof.co.nz