In the 1990s when nearby suburbs such as Grey Lynn and Westmere were enjoying booming real estate prices, Pt Chevalier was left a little bit behind. But in the past 10 years it has caught up big time.
Prices in the suburb are exceeding those of the last boom in 2007 and that trend seems set to continue with property quite tightly held but plenty of buyers in the market.
Ross Brader, of Professionals Pt Chevalier, says there are typically 15 homes put on the market per month and this year these are being swamped at open homes and selling within a week.
One of his recent listings is a prime example: 16 Alberta St, a three-bedroom bungalow that had 100 people through in the first week and multiple offers presented resulting in a sale $100,000 more than it previously sold for in 2007.
Ross says that schooling is a big driver, with good schooling locally from primary through to high school level proving a huge attraction for families who want to put down roots in a suburb that is also reasonably close to the city and has good motorway access.
With little through-traffic apart from the popular Pt Chevalier Rd-Meola Rd route, the suburb has a quiet village feel, particularly once you get north of Meola Rd.
As Ross says, "Being a peninsula, it's surrounded by water, with Pt Chevalier Beach and Coyle Park being big attractions. The Meola reserve is a real asset where you can take the dog for a walk or have a picnic at the end of the reef. There are boat ramps at Oliver St and Raymond St and the area is popular for windsurfers, kiteboarders,
paddle boarders and you can even catch snapper near Kauri Point just a few minutes by boat or a bit longer in the kayak."
Housing stock is mainly bungalows, ex-state houses and some art deco homes - all popular because of their renovation potential. Before the real estate boom of the 1990s, Pt Chev was a suburb popular with the elderly and blue collar workers but that demographic has changed radically with an influx of young urban professionals with children.
Illustrating that population change is the fact that Pt Chev has one of the largest retirement villages in the country in Selwyn village - as well as an RSA and bowling club - but was the first area in the country to get highspeed broadband rolled out by Chorus.
While there are more cafes, restaurants and bars than there used to be, Pt Chev still lags behind areas such as Ponsonby, Grey Lynn and Kingsland in that regard. Cameron Greig, who lives in Dignan St and runs the local website pointchev.com, says the changing population has been noticeable since he bought his house about 11 years ago and has caused growing pains at Pt Chev Primary, which is adding classrooms as fast as it can to meet the skyrocketing roll.
He says the village-like feel, flat terrain and re-sanding of the beach just over three years are also huge attractions for families.
"Having the beach on tap is just fabulous," Cameron says. "I've got young kids and we know when the high tides are so we can walk down to the beach and go for a swim when we want."
He says having Motat, Western Springs and the zoo nearby is a bonus for families but the area can be proud of its strong sporting and community organisations.
"The sailing club has been a roaring success with the kids and the tennis club has new courts," he says."There's a high level of involvement in the various clubs around here; the local historical society gets 40 people along at its meetings."
Cameron, who emails out a weekly newsletter to those on his database, says the only cloud on the horizon is the fact that Pt Chev is earmarked for higher density housing in future - and that could become a bone of contention for residents.
Entry-level homes of two bedrooms on sections ranging in size from 300sqmto 500sqmgenerally sell for between $380,000 and $480,000. An average family home of three or four bedrooms on a site 450sqm to 650sqmsells for $750,000 to $1 million. Top-end properties on large sections (800sqmto 1500sq m) with four or more bedrooms start at $1.5 million and can hit $3 million if they are on the waterfront.
Rental homes are in short supply in this suburb but a two-bedroom house starts at maround $400, three-bedroom homes range from $500 to $650, while four-bedroom homes cost upwards of $600 a week.
Harbour View Rd, Bangor St, Lynch St, Raymond St, Wright Rd and St Michaels Ave command the top prices in the suburb.
SCHOOLS IN THE AREA
Pt Chevalier School, St Francis School, Pasadena Intermediate, Western Springs College.
PT CHEVALIER BEACH
This beach was always popular with windsurfers, and more recently kite boarders, but families came flooding back when it was re-sanded about three years ago. Previously there was a narrow strip of sand and a muddy walk down to the water when the tide was out but that has all changed - although it still pays to aim for high tide if you want to swim. There's plenty of shade along this beach and barbecues provided by the council. Access is from Coyle Park and Harbour View Rd.
MEOLA REEF RESERVE
With dog owners facing increasing restrictions on where they can walk their pets, Meola Reef is a haven for canines needing exercise. There are easy walking paths beside the harbour and a fenced off-leash area where dogs can run wild. Owners get to know each other on a first-name basis, and there is even a Meola Reef Dog Park Facebook page.
PT CHEVALIER SAILING CLUB
The sailing club is based at the Raymond St reserve and has clubrooms, a large car park where boats assemble and a boat ramp. As well as regular races, the club runs learn to sail programmes for everyone from children to adults. The clubrooms can also be hired for functions and have a lovely outlook over the water.