Construction of the first eight homes in stage one of the two-stage $50m Mountview Green development has been completed, with buyers hopefully moving in early next year.
Meanwhile, 60 more homes in stage two of the development are set to take shape in Frank St, Rotorua, next year, with earthworks expected to begin in mid-January.
Of the 60 homes, which include some KiwiBuild homes, there are only seven left for purchase - that is, three three-bedroom homes and four two-bedroom homes left.
Resource consent was granted earlier this month to enable the new homes in stage two to be built at 45 Frank St.
Construction of the first stage of the development on Ian St, Koutu, which began in April this year and involves 26 stand-alone, duplex and triplex homes, is well underway.
The remaining 18 homes were expected to be completed by the end of March 2022.
Once finished, Mountview Green will see 86 new homes in Rotorua.
The development, which is a significant investment into the local housing market, was the first medium-density build of this scale in the city, Rotorua Lakes Council says.
Each home will be architecturally designed and would meet healthy home standards.
Mountview Green co-developer Andrea Jacobson, of Watchman Capital, said of the first eight homes in stage one, four had been issued "Triple C" code of completion and compliance certificates and all are awaiting titles to be issued.
The other four homes were due to have inspections on December 21 and it was hoped they would also be issued compliance documentation without delay, she said.
All the homes in stage one were sold in mid-2021 and it was hoped the remaining 18 would be completed by the end of March, she said.
Jacobson also said the first eight homes were all KiwiBuild homes and they hoped to receive titles for them in January.
She also said Covid has certainly caused some delays in the speed of the development, which included Rotorua being in alert level four lockdown for several weeks.
And once the site could operate again, there were extra health and safety protocols to follow, including builders having to work in their bubbles and so on, she said.
Jacobson said even at alert level three construction had to be completed in stages to ensure strict compliance with the Covid 19 protocols.
"One of the other significant challenges was our development manager Bill Ritchie, who oversees the completion of the development, was stuck in Auckland for three months.
"He was unable to travel to the Rotorua site. Despite that, our team in Rotorua has done a great job to keep on with building but it is hard to remotely manage the project."
"We hope the first buyers can be in their homes in time for Christmas, but we are awaiting for titles to be issued by LINZ's, but unfortunately there is a huge backlog in applications."
Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) processes and issues legal property tiles to landowners and home buyers.
Jacobson said despite these challenges it was "really exciting" to be moving onto the next stage of the development at Frank St.
She said it was hoped earthworks for all the Stage 2 homes would take place in mid-January and construction of the first homes would be completed by mid-2022.
Jacobson said the entire development was expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2023.
She said the KiwiBuild homes within the Mountview Green development were a big part of making sure first-home buyers were part of the mix of buyers.
"We're really pleased with the amount of interest and people are buying off-plan, which was a new thing for Rotorua, and potential buyers are willing to do so to secure a home. "
"We've had a really great response, with a mixture of local buyers and investors from the Bay of Plenty, Auckland and Wellington. "
Jacobson said there was also more Kiwibuild homes coming through.
"If people really want to be part of the balloting process the best thing they can do is to register their interest now on the KiwiBuild website."
She said the increasing price of building materials was an ongoing challenge for all builders in the industry but they were currently still selling homes at a fixed price.