A record $9.5 million property sale on a prime Mount Maunganui spot could mark the beginning of a "new look" for the Pilot Bay waterfront.
The 10 residential units, known as the Mereden and Mt View apartments at 6 The Mall, went unconditional last week.
Bayleys luxury home and apartment specialist Peter Clarke said the 2023sq m site sold to a Waikato businessman who planned to build 10 brand new luxury apartments.
Clarke said there was strong interest in the property.
"There were over 14,000 website hits and over 100 enquiries with the main interest from developers and property investors."
He said the property was owned by Auckland-based property investors who bought the site in June 2013 for $4.3m.
The property was on the market for about two years, with the Bayleys campaign starting just before Christmas. The campaign closed on February 10 and sold after two months of negotiations, he said.
"We're happy to achieve the result for the vendors and are very excited about the project proposed for the site."
Managing director of the Realty Group Ltd, which operates Eves and Bayleys, Simon Anderson said the $9.5m sale showed confidence in the level of investment in the region.
"It's the start of a new look for the bottom of The Mall," he said.
"We've seen a trend across a number of properties where people are investing large sums of money in the Mount area.
"It's a continuation of people seeing an opportunity with limited land and with it being a great place to live."
The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand confirmed it was a record sale for the region.
The last big sale in five years was $6.3m for an Oceanbeach Rd property at the Mount in May 2018.
The three-bedroom home sold at auction after just four weeks.
Another home in Mount Maunganui sold for $6.2m in February 2017.
REINZ acting chief executive Wendy Alexander said more Bay properties were selling for $4m-plus in the last five years.
"Mount Maunganui tends to be the focal point of these upper-end properties for the region ..."
Alexander said the increasing number of multi-million-dollar sales could be because of rising house prices, growing demand for high-end property and Covid-19 lockdown meaning people were prioritising homes above overseas travel.
Properties sold for $4m+ in Bay (April 2016–March 2021)
Source: Real Estate Institute of New Zealand