What $350,000 gets you in Western Bay

By James Fuller

Beachside baches, doer-uppers in sought-after locations, hassle-free apartments and sweeping lifestyle sections have one thing in common in the Western Bay - they are all available for $350,000.

With the region's January QV median property values averaging out at just over $350,000 (Tauranga $320,000; Mount Maunganui/Papamoa $387,500 and Western Bay $361,250), the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend has profiled what buyers can get for that amount.

A search of realestate.co.nz showed a broad range of homes on offer.

Simon Martin, managing director of Harcourts Advantage Realty, said the diversity of properties in the price range meant it appealed to a lot of buyers.

"There are apartments, two-bedroom units, three or four-bedroom homes, a lot of options, albeit in different areas."

Mr Martin said about two-thirds of Tauranga sales last month had been under $400,000.

"It's a very popular price bracket at the moment and has been for a while."

In Tauranga, nearly one-fifth (19 per cent) of all realestate.co.nz listings were in the $300,000 to $400,000 bracket. There were 434 properties in this range of the 2281 total listings for the city.

In the outlying Western Bay area, the bracket was less well represented with nine per cent of total listings (180 of 1944).

So what does $350,000 get you?



For those wanting a Tauranga Avenues address, and who were prepared to put in a bit of work, a four-bedroom 1948 bungalow was available on Sixteenth Avenue for $349,500.

With native timber and original features throughout, the property was advertised as giving the potential to personalise and modernise.

If a more modern home was sought, buyers could look to a three-bedroom, easy-care brick and tile home in the suburb of Welcome Bay.




With two bathrooms, two car spaces, and sitting on a 572sq m plot, the $349,000 Kestrel Avenue home was in the Selwyn Ridge School zone.

Simple, hassle-free living in a beautiful location, or some possible rental returns, were being offered by any one of a number of Mount Maunganui apartments.

You could even have $5000 of your $350,000 pot to spare if a two-bedroom apartment in the Atrium complex, in Maunganui Rd, took your fancy.



Harbour and ocean views were afforded from the 52sq m north facing apartment, which was a short walk from shops, cafés, restaurants, and the main Mount Surf beach. There was also a swimming pool, spa pool and gym on site.

A larger oceanside residence was on offer for $350,000 in Omokoroa.

Sitting on 880sq m of land the 100sq m Omokoroa Road home featured three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It was listed as a great kiwi bach ready for renovation, a first home or a rental, and boasted great water views from the kitchen.



If your lifelong dream is to build that special home to your own specifications, you could try any of eight sizeable Whakamarama lifestyle sections. The plots, in Te Karaka Drive, include two on the waterfront and others with sea views. They range in size from 4244 sq m to 10,262 sq m.

The rural residential subdivision features two all-weather tennis courts, waterfront and rural walkways with security gates to provide extra privacy.

The eight lots are the last remaining in a 30-lot subdivision. Prices for the sections, which are five minutes from Bethlehem Town centre, started from $350,000.

Other sections available at this price included two more in Whakamarama Rd, Whakamarama - one of 1.56 hectares and another of 6340sq m with views across rural land to the harbour - and 6600sq m plot in Ainsworth Road, Te Puna.

While an average sales price for the region was in the $350,000 range, this was not reflective of average property value, said PropertyIQ research director Jonno Ingerson.

Mr Ingerson said the average property value in Tauranga was much higher at $426,272.

Flat Tauranga prices

buck national trendNational property values are on the rise but Tauranga has flatlined according to latest figures.

Across New Zealand, values were 3.2 per cent above the previous market peak of late 2007, with a 1.7 per cent increase over the past three months and a 6.3 per cent increase over the past year.

However, Tauranga's movement year on year was zero per cent.

"The only main city that is still trailing behind is Tauranga, where values have been consistently flat," said PropertyIQ research director Jonno Ingerson. "This has left values in Tauranga at exactly the same as this time last year."

There were positives though, said QV valuer Paul Thomas.

"Although subdued overall, there appears to have been a good level of sales volumes and quite a few sold signs around at the moment.

"Sellers seem to be more realistic regarding price expectations with agents also now marketing houses without much over inflation.

"Houses that were priced too high have come back on to the market with more realistic expectations."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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