The most popular suburbs among first home buyers have been revealed. CoreLogic's latest data shows the top areas where first home buyers have made more than 50 per cent of property purchases so far this year. Bay of Plenty Times property reporter Zoe Hunter finds out what Tauranga's most sought after suburb is and talks to those in the area with keys to their own home.
Bellevue has been revealed as the most popular suburb in Tauranga for first home buyers.
Knocking on Ōtūmoetai's door, Bellevue made CoreLogic's list of top suburbs where first-home buyers made more than 50 per cent of purchases so far this year.
CoreLogic senior property economist Kelvin Davidson said the 22 sales averaged $469,050 in the Bellevue area.
Davidson said Bellevue was relatively cheaper compared to other suburbs and it was "where first-home buyers are still finding value, and it's proving to the first rung on the ladder for many".
Anton Jones, general manager of Tremains Bay of Plenty and Waikato, said plenty of schools, including Ōtumoetai primary, intermediate and college were in the area.
"First-home buyers who are looking to have a family at some point are drawn to the schools," he said.
"It has good facilities, it's close to town, there are not as many traffic issues, it's close to shops and house prices are a lot lower."
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said first-home buyers sought affordable properties and Bellevue was a top contender in terms of value.
Bellevue School principal David Bell said families liked that children could move seamlessly from primary to intermediate and secondary schools in the area.
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"It has a wonderful mix of cultural diversity and social groups," he said.
Bell said the school's roll was steadily growing and was made up of mostly 5-year-olds starting school and a mix of older children from families who had moved to Bellevue.
Ōtumoetai College principal Russell Gordon said Bellevue was "wonderful" and offered a diverse range of students "truly representative of New Zealand society".
"It is an area that will continue to grow in value and people can be guaranteed a significant capital gain," he said.
Ōtumoetai Intermediate School principal Henk Popping said Bellevue had a "great mix of families, a positive vibe, a sense of optimism and community support".
The intermediate attracted enrolments from across Tauranga and as far as Pahoia, Popping said.
More than 4000 people are estimated to be living in Bellevue as at June 30 last year, according to Statistics New Zealand.
Bellevue's population has increased by an estimated 340 people since 2012, when 3700 people believed to be residing in the area.
Living in Bellevue
Laura Boucher and her husband bought their first home in Bellevue in February 2016.
"It was also a smart decision thinking long-term because it is close to the school zones for Ōtumoetai, which we saw as a plus in terms of resale, or if we had the opportunity to use our home as an investment property," Boucher said.
The Bouchers relied solely on their joint KiwiSaver funds and the HomeStart grant to gain the keys to their first home.
"We wanted to buy a house but didn't know it was a possibility," Boucher said. "Both of us having KiwiSaver made the dream come true."
Boucher said the area's demographic had changed in the past three years from young professionals and families to an increase in renters aged 18 to 25.
"A lot of buyers three years ago have seen an opportunity to renovate their home and resell or use it as a rental property," she said.
Laura's top five things about living in Bellevue
- Access to great parks/Waikareo Estuary, great for dog walking.
- Good community feel. "When I'm walking the dog you get to know people in the area and they are always down for a chat."
- Close to town, easy to get to town as it is on the main roadways.
- Close to friends who live in the area also.
- Relatively quiet (outside of school hours).
Strongest first-home buyer suburbs (2019 to date)
Christchurch - Heihei - 61 per cent
Lower Hut - Stokes Valley - 57 per cent
Porirua - Titahi Bay - 55 per cent
Auckland - Bayview - 53 per cent
Hamilton - Nawton - 52 per cent
Tauranga - Bellevue - 50 per cent
Dunedin - Green Island - 49 per cent
Wellington - Johnsonville - 44 per cent
Palmerston North - Milson - 38 per cent
Napier - Onekawa - 34 per cent
- Table shows suburbs with minimal of 20 first-home buyer purchases