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Move over Mount, meet Tauranga's hottest suburb

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Bill and Barbara Chapman who have lived in the Avenues for 20 years and have no plans to leave. Photo/Andrew Warner
Bill and Barbara Chapman who have lived in the Avenues for 20 years and have no plans to leave. Photo/Andrew Warner

The Avenues, known as Tauranga's Golden Triangle, remains a sought-after area despite the city's rapid expansion.

Many residents say they would never live anywhere else.

Chris and Tracey Jones moved into their 13th Ave home two years ago and can't imagine living anywhere else.

"For us it was a dream come true," Mr Jones said. "We're here to stay."

The family moved to The Avenues after living in Welcome Bay and instantly noticed the difference. "We got tired of living in Welcome Bay, especially with the traffic the way it used to be," he said.

"The saving in fuel and time has been amazing. That's what we noticed the most. If you want to have a few drinks you can drive to town and walk home."

It was also within walking distance of St Mary's School and Tauranga Boys' College where their children went and close to the supermarket and other necessities.

Their white weatherboard home was 105 years old and on a full-sized section with large palm trees growing out the back.

The character of the area and the quiet neighbourhood were other drawcards, he said.
Retired couple Bill and Barbara Chapman had lived on 13th Ave for 20 years and said they would "go out of here in a box".

"We're very happy here," Mrs Chapman said.

The couple bought the single-storey, two-bedroom house with a small garden so they would be able to manage it as they got older.

The proximity to the hospital, the medical centre, the supermarket, a mechanic, a dentist, the butcher, the citizens club and Fraser Cove were the big drawcards.

"We're so handy to everything. Now we realise it's location, location, location," Mrs Chapman said. "It's a nice area.

"We don't intend to move from here."

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures showed 130 properties in The Avenues were sold in the 12 months to the end of June.

The sale price varied from $185,000 for a 90sq m two-bedroom house to $1.9 million for a three-bedroom house. The median sale price was $387,500.

Tauranga Harcourts managing director Simon Martin said The Avenues continued to be a popular part of town.

"There's some houses in that area that are quite unique to Tauranga.

"It's a very established area, which people like," he said.

"In the early Avenues, now there's quite a bit of growth into the central city starting to spread. We've got a lot of larger businesses moving out. There's quite a lot of development commercially in Devonport and Cameron roads moving along getting closer."

Despite town centres popping up throughout the region many people still preferred the character of the city's oldest area, he said.

LJ Hooker Tauranga franchise owner Neville Falconer agreed newer town centres in Bethlehem and Papamoa had not detracted from The Avenues' popularity.

"The thing that those town centres have hit the hardest is the CBD. I don't think it's impacted residential. All of the necessities of life are still so convenient [to The Avenues]."

It was the history and character of the area that really made it popular, he said.

"It's just about the only part of Tauranga where you can get some of the older, very nice character properties - there's not many of them," he said.

Realty Services chief executive Ross Stanway agreed. The Avenues was a popular area with those who worked in the city or at the hospital.

"The Avenues being close to the CBD, well established, there's a lot of lovely older established homes and grounds. That won't alter. That will always appeal to a certain type of buyer," he said.

The Avenues
- 130 properties sold in the last year
- Cheapest: $185,000
- Most expensive: $1.9m
- Median: $387,500

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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