Property values are increasing in suburbs across Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty — and Parkvale is the leading the rise with lots of investors snapping up homes.
QV's quarterly analysis of North Island property values shows Parkvale experienced the biggest increase in values of any Tauranga suburb over the past year.
The median value of a Parkvale property increased 29.6 per cent to an estimated value of $344,600 last year and 10 per cent in the last quarter of 2015.
However, Parkvale still remained Tauranga's most affordable suburb.
Data showed Mount Maunganui was the most expensive suburb at the end of last year, with an estimated median value of $667,100.
The value of a Mount property increased 4.6 per cent over the quarter and 25.5 per cent throughout the year.
Omokoroa was the most expensive suburb in the Western Bay of Plenty, with an estimated median value of $602,850 at the end of last year, rising 8.7 per cent throughout the year and 5.3 per cent throughout the quarter.
The cheapest suburb in the Western Bay of Plenty was Te Puke, which rose 13.6 per cent during the year and 3.2 per cent throughout the quarter to $324,600.
Harcourts managing director Nigel Martin said Mount Maunganui often experienced large increases in values because it was traditionally a sought-after area.
There was a shortage of properties for sale in Mount Maunganui. No new land had been made available, as had been the case in nearby Papamoa.
"Once demand picks up prices tend to increase at a higher rate than those areas that have excess land available to be developed," Mr Martin said.
Omokoroa followed similar trends to Mount Maunganui in terms of values.
It offered the same coastal lifestyle and ocean views. A lot of building was going on there and subdivisions were selling. It had experienced more activity in recent months because it was only a two-hour drive from Auckland.
Mr Martin said Parkvale's cheaper houses had increased in value because first-home buyers and investors saw them as providing good returns.
Rents were also going up, so investments were offering a good return despite price increases.
Mr Martin said values were increasing across the board.
Papamoa had seen good growth and a lot of new stock was coming on to the market.
There had also been a lot of building activity in Bethlehem.
Ross Stanway, chief executive of Eves and Bayleys Real Estate, earlier said he was not surprised areas such as Parkvale had seen the biggest increases in sales and price rises.
"As volumes and prices increased across the board, suburbs like Gate Pa and Greerton and Parkvale represented value for money for many buyers ... These suburbs had attracted a renewed level of interest," he said.
First National Mount Maunganui, Tauranga and Omokoroa owner Anton Jones said Parkvale was historically one of the lower priced areas and was going up and up accordingly. Other suburbs may be seeing similar rises in dollar amounts but, percentage gains were higher in Parkvale. Investors looked for cheaper houses with good returns.
Big rent hike hard for mum
Parkvale resident Rhonda Taylor has watched the property prices in her neighbourhood rise steadily.
However, the increase in values was not always good news for tenants, she said.
She moved into a two-bedroom home about 15 months ago and was "gutted" to learn the new owners, who bought the property recently, were increasing her rent from $260 to $370 a week.
The solo mother, who lives with her three children, including her adult son and daughter, and her son's girlfriend, said she converted one room in the house to a third bedroom, and she and her children were well settled in the area so were reluctant to move,
"I have been offered a three-bedroom home in another part of Parkvale for $340 a week, but I'd really love to stay here because it's close to Yatton Park, and quite a nice, quiet neighbourhood."
A property owner across the road said she and her husband bought their three-bedroom home in January for $369,000 after moving from Hamilton.
"We looked at a lot of houses and didn't particularly look in Parkvale, but we bought here because it was the right price and really liked this area."
The woman, who did not want to be named, said it was not surprising prices were going up as ex-Aucklanders and investors were snapping up properties in Parkvale.