Mount Maunganui's coastal strip boasts two of the swankiest streets in the country thanks to a "stunning beach", uninterrupted sea views and proximity to the facilities of a major city.
Marine Parade and Oceanbeach Road rank in the top five streets in New Zealand for the number of properties worth more than $1 million, said property information company QV.
The streets are two of only three in the top 10 outside of Auckland.
Remuera Road in Auckland has the highest number of $1m plus properties (319), followed closely by Marine Parade which has 296.
Oceanbeach Road has 234 properties valued at more than $1m and comes in at number five on the list.
Brian Laird, of Te Awamutu, bought a house on Marine Parade five years ago and doesn't regret it one bit.
"The advantage is being able to look at something different every day and all the people going by.
"Everything's here and available without the city push. It's relaxed and everyone's friendly and you don't have to get dressed up."
While property prices had dropped from the heady days of 2007, Mr Laird was confident his house would increase in value over time.
"I still reckon that in two or three years time when there's a resurgence these properties will increase in price again because there's only so many properties on Marine Parade."
Cameron Foley lives on the inland side of Oceanbeach Road in a humble family home owned by his father-in-law. He loves the easy access to the beach and the proximity to schools and shops.
He said he hadn't noticed any snobby attitudes from his neighbours but wondered why people bought houses in such a prime location and didn't live in them.
"A lot of the beachfront ones you never see anyone in them. What a waste."
Harcourts Advantage Realty Tauranga managing director Simon Martin said Mount Maunganui's coastline was unique.
"It's an absolutely stunning beach but the unique thing is that you've got a major city within a five-minute drive.
"I don't think it happens like this anywhere else in New Zealand. A lot of the stunning beaches are so far in the middle of nowhere."
Realty Services chief executive Ross Stanaway said the two streets had seen a gradual upgrade as older dwellings were replaced by new homes.
"That kind of investment is made by home owners who understand the long-term value of that location. There are still some properties on both roads which were built some time ago and are on great sections and offer opportunities for people to redevelop and create some really stunning homes."
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) Tauranga spokesperson Dicky Burman said property prices were influenced by proximity to the ocean and the Mount's popularity as a holiday destination.
"You're looking at one of the prime holiday destinations in New Zealand. It has views and waterfront and just a fabulous position."
John O'Donnell, of O'Donnell Realty, said the uninterrupted sea views were the main drawcard for people wanting to buy on Marine Parade or Oceanbeach Road. The main difference between the streets was people living on Marine Parade had to walk across the road to get to the beach, whereas some houses on Oceanbeach Road were right on the beachfront, he said.
"I would rather be on Oceanbeach Road beachfront because you can walk out the door and get sand in your toes.
"The only advantage on Marine Parade, other than the views, is that if you were at the start of the street you could walk into town."
The two streets ranked highly on the list because they were both long streets with lots of houses on them, Mr O'Donnell said.
Marine Parade has 473 properties on the street, while Oceanbeach Road has 772.
Mr O'Donnell said a lot of the houses along Mount Maunganui's coastal strip were holiday homes for people who lived outside of the region.
"Some of these are rented out but there's an awful lot of properties that aren't rented out because the people don't need the money.
"Waikato people have always seen the Mount as a good place to invest because there has been a good history of capital gains."