Perched just on the outskirts of Rotorua, Mamaku has emerged as the city's best-performing suburb for property value increases over the last year, new data has revealed.
OneRoof data for the year ended June 30 showed Mamaku was the best-performing suburb, which held a $590,000 average house price, a 21 per cent increase on last year.
Fordlands was the second highest suburb, with the average house price increasing by 18 per cent to $230,000.
Ngongotahā, Utuhina and Western Heights came in next, with average property prices increasing by 16 per cent in each suburb.
Valocity director of valuation innovation James Wilson said the five top suburbs saw a surge in activity among first-home buyers, who appeared to be to be drawn to them due to their relative affordability when compared to more central suburbs.
He said property investors were also snapping up properties in the area due to strong rental returns, despite the current market conditions.
Mamaku Residents and Ratepayers Group chairwoman Wendy Roe said the suburb was both a good suburb for first-home buyers and established homeowners.
"Mamaku is a good place to bring up children - there is a decent school and a good community here."
She had noticed more people building in the area with subdivision work under way.
She said it was rural while being accessible to town and had a bus route starting soon.
Mamaku resident Amanda Miles moved to Mamaku last July with her husband and two children who attend Mamaku Primary School.
The couple moved from Hamilton and she said they looked around at a range of other suburbs in Rotorua but they settled on Mamaku, drawn to it by its quiet atmosphere.
"It's got a small country town sort of vibe with a really nice community," she said.
"In my old street, I knew one or two of my neighbours but here you can take out the rubbish and have a friendly encounter with someone."
Mamaku School principal and resident Gary Veysi said the primary school had enjoyed an increasing roll in the five years he had been principal.
He said the school had predicted to have 110 students at the school this year but the roll sat at 136.
He said the area was well set up with good utility infrastructure, a skatepark and forestry walks, which made it an attractive option for people who wanted a country-living experience close to town.
"If people want space, and maybe a sheep or horse, it's the place to be."
First National Rotorua director Murray Piesse said buyers might be attracted to the more relaxed lifestyle options offered in Mamaku, with more affordable housing with larger land holdings.
Bayleys and Eves Realty chief operating officer Heath Young said sales were steady compared to last year, the entire Bay of Plenty region enjoying price growth in values.