A Papamoa Beach house has sold for $3.3 million - proving the seaside suburb is ''no longer the poor relation of the Mount''.

David Holland and wife Di sold their home of 23 years at 209 Papamoa Beach Rd through Harcourts marketing consultant Ingrid Cotton.

"It is a fair and realistic price," said the Tauranga surveyor, who has built a smaller home next door. "We are down-sizing," he said.

The five-bedroom home with three lounges sits on about 2140sq m of beachfront land.

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It is at the end of a driveway servicing four houses and boasts panoramic views from Mount Maunganui to Coromandel, Motiti Island, Maketu, White Island and the East Coast.

"It has the best views on the beach," said Mr Holland, who has lived in Tauranga for 40 years and run a surveying practice for 25 years.

He has been involved in several developments in Tauranga, including nearby Pacific Shores.

The sale of his house and another selling for $3 million a year ago "proves Papamoa is no longer the poor relation of the Mount".

Harcourts managing director Nigel Martin said sales over $3 million were rare but his company had handled six recent sales over $2 million - including some beachfront sites.

Mr Martin said the buyer, in this case, was a local person and the sale boded well for Tauranga's real estate sales confidence.

A mix of locals and out-of-town buyers were among people interested in properties priced over $2 million, Mr Martin said.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures reveal that in the first five months of this year, 48 properties have sold for more than $1 million each in Papamoa. Those 48 sold for a combined sum of $64,389, 510.

Last year, 88 properties sold for more than $1million each, totalling $124,721,500. In 2015, a total of 51 properties sold for a combined total of $75,435,000.

Greg Purcell, of Ray White Realty in Papamoa, said the top end of the real estate market had not been affected by any loan-to-ratio rules that hit first-home buyers.

But Mr Purcell said there was not the same level of interest from Auckland buyers as there was 12 months ago.

"It's not surprising that level of interest couldn't be sustained," said Mr Purcell. "It cost $1 million to buy a house in pretty much any suburb up there."

Simon Anderson, chief executive of Realty Services, which operates Bayleys and Eve's Realty, said sales in Papamoa were "nothing more than normal."

"Supply exceeds demand at the moment," he said. Beachfront properties were in a league of their own.

Buyers had a choice of several homes in the $700,000 to $1 million bracket that were not beachfront.

"It is taking longer to sell a property and successful sellers are those who have presented their properties to best advantage," Mr Anderson said.

Papamoa Plaza centre manager David Hill agreed there was a positive vibe around Papamoa and house sale growth reflected the growing population.