A view of the water can add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the value of a Bay of Plenty property, according to new estimates.
A website which publishes sales histories and values calculated water views added a median value of $139,000 to a home in Tauranga City and $235,000 to the value of a Western Bay of Plenty home.
Water views were worth the most in the Mount Maunganui area according to homes.co.nz. The estimated median value of a home with a water view at the Mount was $1,485,246, carrying a premium of $892,000.
The figures were calculated using local government public records of each property in the region and identifying whether it had a view, which was one of the variables recorded on the records.
Kay and Gary Siegel, whose Matua property with 180-degree water views won the Registered Master Builders Supreme Award in 2011, said it was lovely to have uninterrupted views from the Kaimai Range, across Matakana Island and to Mauao.
"We take it for granted," Mrs Siegel said. "We're up above the water on a ridge, it's lovely, we feel private."
Mr Siegel said it was "magic" to sit on the balcony in the morning when the sun was out and the tide was in. When the water was still and glassy, Mauao's reflection would stretch over the water.
And the sunsets over the Kaimai Range were stunning, even more so when the red of the sky reflected on the harbour and the pool.
"It's relaxing, it's our own little world. We're privileged to live in this, quite frankly."
The Siegels have put their home on the market as they were looking to downsize, and had been advised on a expected sale price in the millions.
"The view is relative," Mr Siegel said. "It's all to do with the land value, if you're going to pay that much for land, you're going to build a pretty good house."
Ross Stanway, chief executive of Eves and Bayleys Real Estate, said those who sought a sea view were prepared to pay a premium for it and the premium increased for properties closer to the beach.
Having the sea close by was part of the attraction of the Bay of Plenty, he said.
Properties along Marine Parade and Ocean Beach Road, which had sea views and were near the beach, were some of the most expensive residential properties in the Bay of Plenty.
Lately, people had been paying a premium for older beachfront homes, particularly in the Mount Maunganui area. Often, they were removing the existing houses and building new ones.
"Generally, they are people that are building the home of their dreams, and they are there to stay, for the foreseeable future anyway," said Mr Stanway.
There had also been a significant increase in interest and prices paid for homes a few streets away from the sea. Those streets had experienced some of the biggest price increases in recent times. "So those homes don't have a sea view but they still have very ready walking access to the beach," he said.
One specific attraction for the Bay of Plenty was the wide range of property types available.
There were opportunities to live beside beaches or rivers, in rural settings near town, or lakeside, said Mr Stanway.
"There's just such a wide and interesting and exciting range of properties that are available so there is literally something for everybody."
Frank Vosper of Vosper Realty said a water view was high up on the list of criteria for buyers.
"In our lovely town, a water view is important to purchasers. However, you can't actually take the view to the supermarket."
Owner of First National Tauranga Anton Jones said people loved a view and there was a variety of different views in Tauranga, depending on location.