Earlier this month it was Whangarei's Morningside suburb being dubbed the "new Ponsonby" and now it's Opononi being likened to a new Omaha, with a 20-section subdivision targeting Aucklanders for holiday homes.
Real estate agents have, for many years, predicted that Morningside could become Whangarei's Ponsonby and it looks like their claims could finally be getting close.
The median value of a property in Morningside increased 6.3 per cent to an estimated $290,900 during the last quarter of 2015 and more than 20 per cent throughout the year.
Now a development at humble Opononi, on the southern banks of the Hokianga Harbour is being marketed as a clandestine destination for those wanting a holiday bach away from the hoards in the likes of Omaha, Mangawhai, and Marsden Cove. Opononi hit the news late last year when it was revealed celebrities who have quietly bought properties along the coastline stretch include radio commentator Wendyl Nissen, radio talkback hosts Duncan Garner and Kerre McIvor, and former Black Caps captain Adam Parore.
Now with more buyer inquiries coming out of the Auckland property market, Bayleys Kerikeri has listed a new 20-section subdivision for sale.
Bayleys salesman David Baguley said sections range from 607 square metres to 749sq m with prices ranging $85,000 to $120,000 for land with harbour views. Real estate sales statistics highlighted the attention now being shone on Opononi and adjoining Omapere.
In 2013, 13 properties sold in the area. In 2014, the number was 12 property sales. However, last year, 28 properties changed hands. According to most recent Census figures, Opononi and Omapere have a combined population of 414 people.
"Our sales data shows there has definitely been an 'Auckland ripple' effect for the holiday home market in the Hokianga. Where else can you buy a north-facing section with water views and a track below to the beach?" Mr Baguley said.
"As Auckland residential property prices skyrocketed in 2014/15 many Aucklanders found equity levels in their primary dwellings substantially enhanced. They felt richer and as a result they bought holiday homes ... including on Northland's West Coast."