Rotorua real estate experts say now is a good time for first home buyers to step onto the property ladder as the market begins to "flatten out".
The latest QV House Price Index showed home values in Rotorua jumped 7.4 per cent year on year and 1.1 per cent in three months. The average value in the district is now $434,253.
Simon Anderson, chief executive of Realty Group, which operates Eves and Bayleys, said there were a lot more first home buyers coming into the market.
"I think some first home buyers have become more organised with their finances and all of the heat has come out of the market," he said.
Anderson said more people looking to buy their first home were moving to Rotorua. "They perceive it to be a better value."
LJ Hooker Rotorua director Malcolm Forsyth said the best time to get into the market was now as it had "flattened out".
"No one has a crystal ball and can tell what the market is going to do..." he said.
"But if you leave it for another six months to save money, prices are only going to be higher. It is definitely a good time to buy."
Forsyth said there had been good buyer activity in the mid-$300,000 to $400,000 price bracket.
"I think the first home buyers have always been out there, they just seem to be making more decisions," he said.
QV property consultant Derek Turnwald said Rotorua's residential market was experiencing "reasonably strong" demand particularly in the $220,000 to $450,000 price bracket.
"Three and four bedroom dwellings in all suburbs and residential units around the central city are in strong demand and are usually selling in multi offer situations," he said.
Turnwald said there was a continued lack of properties being listed in all value ranges, with "gradually rising" stable sale prices.
General manager of Tremains Bay of Plenty and Waikato, formerly First National, Anton Jones said investors were leaving the market, which opened the doors to more first home buyers.
Jones said proposed changes to rental property rules had made investors feel "a bit nervous" about buying.
"Few are selling because it is getting a bit too difficult, which has given the opportunity for first home buyers to come into the market," he said.
Bay of Plenty home values
12 month change: 3.3 per cent
3 month change: 1.2 per cent
Since market peak in 2007: 47.4 per cent
Western Bay of Plenty
12 month change: 0.9 per cent
3 month change: 0.4 per cent
Since market peak in 2007: 40.5 per cent
12 month change: 7.4 per cent
3 month change: 1.1 per cent
Since market peak in 2007: 47.9 per cent