Three Rotorua suburbs are leading the way when it comes to rising property values, new figures show.
In the three months to September 30, Hillcrest homes' median value increased 5.2 per cent, Utuhina properties 4.8 per cent and Lynmore saw a median increase of 3.9 per cent.
Just one Rotorua suburb saw a decrease in median value over than period - Fairy Springs.
Figures released today by QV Quarterly Property Report show overall Rotorua house values grew 1.3 per cent in the three months to October 31, up from $399,024 at the end of July to $404,304. The past 12 months have seen median prices in Rotorua rise 11.5 per cent.
The city's quarterly increase is behind Napier (3.9 per cent) Hastings (3 per cent) and Palmerston North (3 per cent) and is equal with New Plymouth. However it is well ahead of Auckland that saw a decrease of 0.5 per cent and Tauranga that also decreased by 0.6 per cent.
Ray White co-owner and principal Anita Martelli said the median increases showed Rotorua was looked upon as an attractive place to stay by home buyers.
"It's not surprising to see Hillcrest had a 5.2 per cent increase as it is a suburb offering good, median-range homes for either first-time buyers or people stepping up to a bigger home."
She said most properties were handy to schools which also made it attractive for people with younger families.
Chris Campbell has just shifted his family from Utuhina to Hillcrest.
Campbell said the reasoning behind the move was to go a little further up the property ladder.
"We loved Utuhina but believe it's a good idea to find a similar property value-wise, if possible, go a little better.
"We found a home in Hillcrest that ticked all the boxes. It was bigger, it's close to parks, the stadium, the golf course and it's in a good school zone," he said.
"We're very happy with our purchase, we just need to sell the Utuhina home now."
Utuhina had experienced a mix of first-time homebuyers and investors while Lynmore, according to Martelli, offered a range of homes over $400,000 and up to $900,000.
"Lynmore has always been a sought-after suburb. There haven't been that many homes for sale but, once on the market, they are generally snapped up quickly."
Professionals McDowell Real Estate co-owner and principal Steve Lovegrove said Rotorua was still seeing strong demand for good home-ownership properties.
"We've made the move, I believe, away from the investment space to home owners buying property to live in," Lovegrove said.
"There's development, commercial enterprise and employment. Rotorua is just getting to the stage of being the next place of growth."
He said people looking for a change of lifestyle were happy to move to Rotorua and commute outside the region for work.
"We've also seen a great increase in stock so buyers have a good choice of property."
Simon Anderson, chief executive of Realty Services which operates Eves and Bayleys, said the market continued to be driven by supply and demand.
"What we've seen in the last quarter is a life in the top-end of homes in most provinces.
"And in those top-end suburbs there is often a short supply so when a house is offered, it will sell for a good price and push the median up."