May's median house price may be down on April's, but one Rotorua real estate agent says the market is still on the rise.

The latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (Reinz) show the median house price in May was $385,000, down 9.4 per cent on April's median price of $425,000.

But First National principal and Rotorua Reinz ambassador Ann Crossley said the reason behind the apparent drop was simply because April was an anomaly.

"We're up from last May and the one before that so it's all trending in the right direction," Crossley said.


"I think April was just one of those weird months. We had about six sales over a million dollars. It's certainly not doom and gloom."

The median price at the same time last year was $350,000, that's a 10 per cent difference compared to the current median.

According to the Reinz figures, there were 122 properties sold in May, up 8 per cent on the 113 in April.

Crossley said the number of available properties was continuing on a downward trend.

"We've got a lot of people who say they would sell if they could find something to buy but they can't so they don't put their house on the market," she said.

"We probably have noticed less urgency in buyers ... They say I won't buy this one I'll buy the next, but there isn't a next.

"There ought to be some urgency but there isn't."

Duncan Realty general manager Richard Graham agreed the drop in median price from April to May could not be read into too deeply.


"That could change again in June," Graham said.

"It's not so much it has dropped, it's just the properties sold were a different make-up."

Graham said the Reinz figures were in line with what Duncan Realty had seen.

"There's certainly growth in values and activity is high but the stock is low.

"We're seeing large amounts of competition for properties in that median range. We're seeing huge attendance at open homes and receiving multiple offers on properties."

Sotheby's International Realty Rotorua principal Shona Duncan agreed the new properties coming to the market were getting a lot of interest.

"Some cases there are multi-offers, the days on the market are shorter. However, we now have lower stock levels in Rotorua," Duncan said.

"Into winter months it can be difficult to encourage owners to bring their homes to the market and therefore buyers become less encouraged and a new cycle begins."

Rotorua Harcourts owner Glenn Austin said the shortage of available properties was likely seasonal and would change heading into spring.

"Demand for good property continues," he said.

Austin said the number of days properties were taking to sell was up, with the median at 39 days.

"With the advent of new subdivisions around Rotorua I believe we will see our local market back in full swing in the near future," he said.

"There is also good growth in commercial and industrial, demonstrating a confidence in our area."

Austin said home ownership in those under 40 was decreasing and there were more renters, meaning the outlook for investors was positive.

Reinz regional director Philip Searle said the wider Bay of Plenty market had seen an overall price increase of 9.6 per cent year-on-year.

"This has been driven by increases in the Kawerau district to a new record median price of $329,000."

OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said while the figures showed a slowdown in the market, the long-term view was Rotorua values would continue to climb.

"It's clear that Rotorua is starting to feel the benefits of the 'Golden Triangle' – the term economic commentators use to describe the geographic area bound up by Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.

"The Golden Triangle has long been a major centre of growth in New Zealand's residential property market, and the positive effects of that growth can be seen to be stretching south to Rotorua."