Too many people and not enough houses.

That sums up Rotorua's housing situation, according to local real estate agents.

Latest Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures show Rotorua's house prices are still on the rise but a lack of properties on the market is preventing the market from striving ahead.

The median house price in July 2018 was $375,000, up from $341,000 in July 2017 - a 10 per cent increase in that year.


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In July 83 houses sold in Rotorua, compared with 85 in July last year and 100 in June 2017.

While Rotorua's figures continue to climb, the city's median is still a long way off the national median of $550,000, which is 6.2 per cent higher than what it was in July last year.

Local real estate agents said they've got buyers galore - and in some instances as many as 10 offers for properties - but just not enough houses.

First National Rotorua principal Anne Crossley said 31 of the 83 houses that sold last month were in the $300,000 to $400,000 bracket.

"That tells you first home buyers and investors are driving the market."

She said while that was great, those buyers weren't leaving their old homes in Rotorua to buy other homes.

"Subdivisions are the key and we need a big subdivision. We have little bits and pieces coming up but not enough."


She said in the first quarter of this year there were 700 people who moved to Rotorua, which conservatively meant there needed to be 200 houses for them to live in.

"We have not had that many new houses in 12 months, let alone three. But it's great Rotorua is growing and more people want to live here. That's fabulous but we need land unlocked."

She said she was aware of a new subdivision being sold privately that was selling well and she believed Ashworth Villas, a gated community being built by the Holmes Group on the corner of Ranolf St and Malfroy Rd, would sell out quick when it went on the market next month.

Chief executive of Realty Services, which operates Eves and Bayleys, Simon Anderson, said July figures revealed traditional winter month trends.

"We saw a spike in sales in June so there's still a shortage of listings but we will begin to see that lift as we come out of winter.

"Auctions are really busy and there is still strong interest at the top end of the market, from both locals and out of towners."

Anderson said there was a good feel in Rotorua and the city was still attracting people from other centres.

Ray White Rotorua agent and business owner Anita Martelli said they were still very busy but the number of houses sold didn't really reflect that because of the low stock numbers.

She said in the previous month they had dealt with several sales where there were multiple offers.

"We need more stock, right across the whole range of properties."

Harcourts Rotorua sales consultant Hielke Oppers said the median sale price was down last month compared with June this year because there were a few high-end sales in June that skewed the figures.

He too said stock was the biggest issue.

"We did a deal on a property last month for a three bedroom home in the $400,000 bracket and 10 people made offers. Activity levels are still incredible ... Purchasers still have to fight for properties that are desirable, open homes are still busy with an abundance of purchasers. There's just a low supply of properties."

OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said there was still plenty of value in the regional market like in Rotorua because it was playing catch up to the bigger centres, which were now softening in interest.

"Rotorua is seen as a desirable place to live. It's close to Hamilton, the Bay of Plenty economy is doing well."

He said nationally most figures dipped a little during the past month as winter tended to put off buyers.

"But Rotorua's market is performing well, it's got a strong economy, a booming population and it's an attractive place to live. It's an area that's going to continue to perform well."

Rotorua REINZ figures
Median price
July 2018 June 2018 July 2017
$375,000 $435,000 $341,000
* 10 per cent increase over 12 months

Volume sold
July 2018 June 2018 July 2017
83 100 85