Rotorua's property market is "rapidly" returning to normal with real estate agents reporting activity has already reached pre-lockdown levels.
Some say buyers were out in force after months of pent-up demand while others were reporting to be the busiest they had been in a year.
However, agents were cautious the market wasn't just playing a game of catch-up post lockdown and fear there was a shortage of new property listings.
Professionals McDowell Real Estate co-owner Steve Lovegrove said there were the same number of buyers as there were before the country went into alert level 4.
"While people are more cautious about what they pay there is no sign of a slump [in property prices]," he said.
"Sales are very rapidly coming back to normal at a rate that I am cautiously excited about because we don't know if we are playing a game of catch up or if we have consolidated the same normal as before."
However, he said the number of properties available was now starting to decrease.
"I suspect we are going to get another wave of people coming from out of town and into the regions."
Harcourts Rotorua sales manager Colville Barbour said the market felt like it did prior to lockdown and it was first-home buyers and investors who were particularly active in the market.
"There is also continued interest from those relocating to Rotorua, which offers value and lifestyle opportunities. Our salespeople are very busy with buyer enquiry and putting together contracts."
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Barbour said now the country was at level 1 there were no viewing restrictions in place so buyers had more freedom to inspect properties.
"Attendance numbers at open homes are high."
He said although properties were coming on to the market there was still a shortage of stock "so there is pressure on prices with a number of properties attracting multi offers".
"It's a great time to come to market."
First National principal and Rotorua REINZ spokeswoman Ann Crossley said things had been busy since moving into level 2.
"There are people listing their homes and buyers are still buying."
"They are probably the same as pre-Covid levels. We are continuing to get multi offers on properties."
Crossley said there also appeared to be no drop in house prices.
"However, it would appear the banks have got meaner with their money."
Heath Young, chief operating officer of Realty Services Limited, which operates Eves and Bayleys across the Bay of Plenty, said level 1 meant people had more clarity for their buying and selling decisions.
"Across the board, there has been pent up demand that was constrained during level 4 and 3 that is now showing through with buyers needing to make things happen."
Young said sales volumes had been steadily picking up during the last few weeks since lockdown with "better than expected results" in the auction rooms.
"We are cautiously optimistic about the future for real estate in the Bay of Plenty.
"Our regions throughout the Bay of Plenty will always be great places to live and this, coupled with the low interest rate environment, supports positive activity.
"Job security will be a key factor affecting the economy and property market but is not the only variable to focus on."
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said agents, mortgage brokers and economists were reporting a "tremendous surge of sales" in levels 3 and 2.
"Now in level 1, we are hearing agents are the busiest they've been for over a year."
Vaughan said good properties were getting multiple offers and selling for good money and mortgage brokers were processing huge numbers of loan applications.
"The buyers are out in force and with months of pent-up demand, they're hungry to do the deals, picking up from their interrupted search from the summer boom."
However, he said the biggest constraint on sales now was a "severe lack of new property listings" as demand exceeded supply.
"Buyers who are confident about their job or business prospects are still looking, but some vendors are waiting to see where prices and volumes settle, and what happens to the economy."
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand chief executive Bindi Norwell said it was fantastic the country was now in level 1 and things were returning to 'normal' from a real estate perspective.
"Whilst the last few months have been tough, there is certainly an appetite from both real estate professionals and buyers and sellers to get things moving as quickly as possible when it comes to real estate transactions.
"Pretty much every agent we've spoken to over the last few weeks has been busy dealing with enquiries from those looking to buy and sell."
Norwell said there had also been an increase in interest from Kiwis living offshore looking to move home "especially now the country appears to be Covid-free".
The low interest rate environment was also helping the market, she said, especially first home buyers looking to get a foot on the property ladder.
"Those first-time buyers who have a good savings history are finding it easier than those who are yet to prove they're a good 'risk' from a lending perspective.
"The key thing now is to get more people listing their property – there's no shortage of demand from buyers, but the issue is people having the confidence to list.
"So, hopefully, we'll see the listings shortage start to ease in the coming weeks as people's confidence levels grow now that we're in level 1."