A Rotorua apartment that overlooks the Village Green has sold for a record price of $1.3 million.

The apartment is the largest of 12 in the Lake Terraces complex on Whakaue St and recently sold at a New Zealand Sotheby's International Realty Auction, fetching the highest price for an apartment in Rotorua.

The recently renovated three-bedroom apartment with thermal heating was owned by Paul Robinson, who told the Rotorua Daily Post he was a reluctant seller.

"I was having seller's remorse right up until the day of the auction and I nearly walked away."

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However, the reality was Robinson now lived in Ohope, was semi-retired and only came back to Rotorua a couple of times a month, so no longer had need for the apartment.

He was happy with the price but said it was his bottom dollar.

"I think the price reflects the market. You can't buy another one like that ... I think they got a bargain.

"It's on the best street in Rotorua and is north facing. It's a magnificent property and I know the new owners are going to love it."

The buyer, who didn't want to be named, said he and his wife would move into Rotorua from the local farming community.

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He said they had another property in Rotorua, mainly commercial buildings, but they were looking forward to moving into the city at the end of July.

He said it was good news the property had sold to locals.

"It's better than being sold to Aucklanders," he joked.

The property was marketed by Marilyn Christian, of New Zealand Sotheby's International Realty.

She said the apartment was appealing for many reasons including it was in the hub of Rotorua's CBD.

She said the sale was particularly pleasing because of who she was working with.

"I must say, it was lovely working with such a wonderful vendor and buyer. They are lovely people, both of them."

It's another record sale for Christian who broke her own record having achieved the previous highest price for an apartment last year with another apartment further along Whakaue St that sold for $1,160,000.

This was the first property brought to auction for the newly established Rotorua and Lakes District branch of New Zealand Sotheby's International Realty.