The Western Bay of Plenty "smashed" building consent records in May and new data shows Te Puke and Katikati are in a property boom which is fuelling economic confidence, business leaders say.
Priority One figures show the total value of consents was $29.5 million for May 2016 in the district, up from $13.1 million worth of consents issued in May 2015 - the highest value of consents issued in one month since Priority One started keeping records in 2003.
In May 162 consents were issued including two large commercial consents, one at Katikati for stage two of construction works at Summerset Villages ($2.8 million) and an addition to Mitre 10 in Te Puke ($1.5 million).
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand statistics also reveal in 2015 - 278 houses sold in Te Puke compared with 117 in 2014 while Katikati jumped to 199 house sales from 134 over the same timeframes.
Meanwhile the median value soared from $287,550 at Te Puke as of March 31, 2015 to $358,450 to April 30, 2016 according to the latest QV E-Valuer while Katikati values soared from $347,650 to $417,250 over the corresponding period.
Priority One projects manager Annie Hill said it reflected the popularity of the towns, the competitive price of residential and commercial properties and strong growth in the kiwifruit sector.
"In addition, the opening of the Tauranga Eastern Link has significantly cut down the travel from eastern areas such as Te Puke, and also the competitive price of residential and commercial properties in Te Puke, Katikati and their surrounds compared to Tauranga prices."
QV Home Value Tauranga registered valuer David Hume said the Western Bay of Plenty residential property market continued to strengthen following rising home values in Auckland and Tauranga as "investors and movers flock to purchase housing in these areas".
Bare land and homes were seeing values rise in the Western Bay of Plenty with 850sq m sections on Conway Rd in Paengaroa, which were selling for $80,000 last year, now selling for $170,000.
Western Bay of Plenty District mayor Ross Paterson said planned infrastructure was supporting growth in the region.
"That was a good decision we made in the past. I think there is a lot of movement from Auckland and the values that we have had in Katikati and Te Puke are very attractive in this new market of house pricing.
Te Puke Economic Development Group chief executive Mark Boyle said the town was in a strong upward cycle.
Projects including the upgrade of the Te Puke Highway and the ongoing beautification of the town centre had boosted confidence and up to 12,000 vehicles a day still travelled through the township despite the opening of the TEL, he said.
Ross Stanway, chief executive of Eves and Bayleys Real Estate, said the growth in the economy in the Western Bay had come from a number of different industry types and that certainly also fed into the housing market.
"There is no one single factor but a combination and it brings new people, new businesses and new opportunities which is very good."
Katikati businesses were also reaping the rewards.
Puma Darts managing director Peter McCormick said the business was going exceptionally well and growing at 17 to 18 per cent a year.
"It's been nice solid growth and all of that is exported.
"At the moment the markets are really strong for us."
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The company hired two new staff last week to bring the total number to 21 although numbers had fluctuated over the years, he said.
"There is definitely a lot of new faces in town that are bringing new ideas and new businesses as well. Katikati is changing which is great there is a lot of international exporting businesses here."
Expansion a sign of times in Bay
Mitre 10 in Te Puke is undergoing a major revamp and transformation.
Company directors Bob and Berwyn Fergusson have owned the store for 13 years and always believed the township was packed with potential.
"We've been looking at this expansion for a number of years," Mr Fergusson said. "It's very exciting ... everything is cyclical but growth in the Bay of Plenty has been constant."
The project would include a revamp of the old New World building by adding a larger structure to the northern end, developing a bigger garden centre and putting in 42 car parks.
"In comparison to our existing site, the new site will have approximately twice the retail space and five times the garden area."
The extension would give Mitre 10 a new building that encompassed more than 1700sq m and was expected to be finished at the end of the year.
At the moment, the couple employed nine staff but they were reviewing those levels with the shift.
Figures from Priority One show the store was issued with a building consent valued at $1.5 million last month.