Bay house prices rise 6.2pc in year

By Ruth Keber, Cassandra Mason

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Ross Stanway
Ross Stanway

Property values continue to climb in the wider Western Bay of Plenty, with Tauranga now 6 per cent below the 2007 market peak, new figures reveal.

Western Bay of Plenty house values rose 6.2 per cent in the year to June, reaching an average value of $415,877, while Tauranga values rose 5.5 per cent to $452,431, according to state valuer Quotable Value.

Nationally, values increased 8 per cent in the year to June to $476,346, up 15 per cent on the 2007 peak.

Higher end properties had also seen a jump in activity as more people moved to Tauranga from the bigger cities.

Realty Services chief executive Ross Stanway said the rise was a long time coming.

"The last two to three years there has been a steady price increase of 3-4 per cent, so a rise of 6 per cent is just a continuation of what has been in train for the last three years."

However, Mr Stanway said the rise was still well behind the price increases which have been reported in Auckland and Christchurch.

There was a still a shortage of homes in the region, which would be adding to the price increases, he said.

New commercial developments would also be adding to the rise in Tauranga and the Western Bay.

"There is some real investment starting to come on stream in the commercial sector, and that brings with it interest in our residential sector because a lot of people who are involved with those projects come and live here as well," he said.

Tauranga Harcourts franchise owner Max Martin said the lower priced houses in the region were not selling because of the higher deposit required.

"The reason property values are rising is because the lows ones are not selling to first home buyers and that pushes the medium price up, so it appears the prices are increasing."

However, Mr Martin said there was still a lot of confidences in the $600,000 to $900,000 market.

"There are a quite a few sales in that area but overall the prices haven't risen," he said.

LJ Hooker Bay of Plenty franchise owner Neville Falconer said a 5.5 per cent increase was slightly more than he would have expected in Tauranga.

"There's certainly been a small change in the pricing, especially in the value range in the lower to middle end of the market."

Increases were most notable in the $350,000 to $450,000 range, he said. "Because the listings are short at the moment, people are looking across all areas, and looking to find a good property that is structurally sound and doesn't have weather-tight issues."

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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