Rotorua's real estate market is enjoying a much-needed increase in stock numbers but there are still more buyers than available properties, local agents say.
Figures released by REINZ show a year-on-year increase of 14 properties sold for the month of October, going from 85 in October 2017 to 99 in 2018.
The median price has also increased year-on-year, from 355,626 in October 2017 to 400,000 last month.
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The figures show a continuation of Rotorua's success story, Simon Anderson, chief executive of Realty Group, which operates Eves and Bayleys, said.
"It's good to see the number of sales have jumped back up to around 100 from 75 the month before," Anderson said. "This is what we expect them to be at this time of the year."
He said more listings were coming to the market and the next few weeks would be exciting times for Rotorua.
"Sales and median prices have consistently increased over the last couple of years."
Professionals McDowell Real Estate owner Steve Lovegrove said there had been a noticeable increase to stock to the Rotorua market during the past three weeks.
"It's like someone has turned the tap on," Lovegrove said. "It's been quite overwhelming.
"The extra stock has given a wider choice for buyers but I don't believe enough has been introduced to alleviate the market. We are still getting good numbers through open homes and with inquiries.
He said three weeks ago Rotorua had about 250 homes for sale listed on Trade Me and that number now stood about 350.
"But there has also been a decrease in the number of days on the market and buyers are still putting in offers within the first week of viewing a home."
Lovegrove said that was to be expected at this time of the year with Christmas and New Year approaching. "People want to be in and settled for summer and the new school year."
He said he had noticed that every second year, Rotorua tended to have a busy summer and that last year had been a quiet one.
"I'm predicting December and January will be busy. This time last year we had just had an election and people were uncertain, this year things are reasonably stable which is another indicator this Christmas will be busy."
First National Rotorua principal Ann Crossley said last month's 99 sales had produced an interesting bell curve.
"Looking at the REINZ figures, 50 per cent of the sales were in the $300,000 to $500,000 bracket. Of those, 23 sales were $351,000-$400,000 with 14 sales in the $500,000 bracket before this and nine sales in the $500,000 bracket afterwards. It's a bell curve but with an Empire State building at the centre," Crossley said.
"The spike is an absolute indication of first-time home buyers in the market
She said some investors were starting to sell their properties which would create change within the market. "At this stage it is a trickle as opposed to a flood but it will be interesting to see what happens."
Crossley said previously, if investment properties had come to the market, other investors would snap them up. "We have seen a withdrawal of investors from the market so, without them there, we're not sure which way the market will go.
"We'll wait and see but right now, there is still good buyer inquiry for properties."