Real Estate Institute of New Zealand chief executive, Bindi Norwell. Photo / Getty Images A_110220NZHHBINDI3.JPG
Managing director of Realty Group Ltd, which operates Eves and Bayleys, Simon Anderson. Photo / Andrew Warner A_181019aw12bop.JPG
General manager of Tremains Bay of Plenty and Waikato, Anton Jones. Photo / George Novak A_200220gn23bop.JPG
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan. Photo / NZME A_190619splOwenVaughanOneRo.JPG
SIDE BAR PHOTOS:
The property at The Lakes which agents say sold for a record price for the suburb. Photo / Supplied 210920_LakesBoulevard_BOPzh.JPG OR 210920_LakesBoulevard_BOPzh.JPG OR 210920_LakesBoulevard_BOPzh.JPG
Brent Bastin from Tremains. Photo / Supplied 210920_Brent_Bastin_BOP.JPG
By Zoe Hunter
A shortage of land at one of the Bay's biggest residential developments has seen more than two dozen properties in the suburb selling above $1 million this year.
Tauranga real estate agents say The Lakes is becoming "very desirable" with more people wanting to secure a home in the fast-growing area.
The median price for the suburb, estimated to house 4586 people, is now $800,000.
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand chief executive Bindi Norwell said there had been a gradual increase in the number of properties sold at The Lakes since lockdown.
However, she said sales volumes were still down from this time last year, mostly due to a lack of listings.
"Interest in the area remains at an all-time high, particularly, as it's well known that there is no more land due to be released for at the very least a few more years yet.
"We're also hearing stories of multi-offers on a number of sales ... and the number of days it takes to sell a property has come down significantly from the same time last year."
Norwell said the suburb's median price reached $800,000 in August.
"Since the beginning of the year, we've seen 26 properties achieve asking prices in excess of $1m showing just how popular the area has become."
She said there were still strong levels of inquiry from out of town, particularly from Aucklanders looking to move to the area.
Simon Anderson, managing director of Realty Group Ltd, which operates Eves and Bayleys, said there had been many sales above $1m out of its Eves Tauranga Crossing office in the past three months.
That included a sale for a property on Penetaka Heights for $1.66m.
"What we have seen in the last eight-to-10-months is with the number of sections available being quite limited and the area developing so rapidly, there has been a real demand out there.
"It has become very desirable."
Anderson said the company sold a $1.3m property at The Lakes about a year ago which, he said, set the new level of the market.
"Since then we have seen a strong lift in that level of sales, which have become a regular now."
He said there was also better infrastructure in the maturing suburb, group builders were after the remaining sections and buyers were seeking out bigger homes and were willing to pay for it.
General manager of Tremains Bay of Plenty and Waikato, Anton Jones, said sales at The Lakes had been going "extremely well".
"We have got a big presence there. It just seems to be going from strength to strength.
"They are running out of land out there, if not sold out already, and it's just the remaining homes being built."
House prices had increased steadily as well as demand.
"We have had some really big numbers through open homes too."
Jones said The Lakes was certainly an appealing suburb for buyers.
"It's close to town, the motorways and Rotorua. It has got a good shopping centre there, good views especially up the top, good schools.
"It has got a good community feel to it."
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said the fact these well-presented properties in a location such as The Lakes were selling for high prices was not surprising.
"Those who have got in quick and bought in a desirable location and a new subdivision were reaping the benefits."
The last five sections sold to two local developers in May 2020, five years ahead of schedule.
Originally 254ha of rolling farmland in Pyes Pa West, The Lakes has since been developed into more than 2000 sections.
Carrus Corporation, headed by Sir Paul Adams and son Scott Adams, bought The Lakes from the original owner Grasshopper Farms after it went into receivership in 2011.
Scott Adams said Carrus had completely sold out of sections.
"We would continue to develop The Lakes if we had more land. But we don't."
A house at The Lakes has fetched about $1.7 million in what agents say is a record sale for the suburb.
Brent Bastin of Tremains Bay of Plenty said the house sold for about half a million dollars above CV of $1.2m, which he said was a new record for The Lakes.
"The record before this was $1.6m."
Bastin said the house had been on the market for a little more than three weeks and sold by negotiation to a Tauranga couple on Thursday.
"It is genuinely one of the most beautiful houses out there."
He said there had been a "substantial shift" at The Lakes with demand for the area steadily increasing.
"It has certainly become more and more evident with no more land.
"We are also finding a big drawcard is the new Taumata School. On top of that, you've got the shops, walking tracks, Tauranga Crossing and just minutes from the CBD.
"It is becoming a very desirable area."
The vendors were Mel and Haden Bedggood and the home featured in the NZ House and Garden magazine last November.
Mel Bedggood, chief executive of Growth Development - Transforming Workplace Culture and Performance -
said she and her husband also built the home next door.
"That was also a record sale at the time."