The Waihī and Waihī Beach real estate markets have surged ahead as residential sales hit $113.3 million this year — more than the total value reached in 2017.
Experts say supply is outstripping demand in both locations and prices are staying strong.
Figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand show in 2018, in Waihī and Waihī Beach 192 houses fetched $113.3m compared with 191 houses last year for $102.2m.
Data also revealed the average median sale price this year for Waihī was $370,000 compared with $328,000 in 2017.
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Meanwhile the Waihī Beach median sale price jumped to $750,000 this year from $720,000 in 2017.
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand chief executive Bindi Norwell said as prices continued to go up in the major centres more and more Kiwis were looking to regions and towns around the country for lifestyle and affordability reasons.
"Places such as Waihī are close to the beach, have a community feel and offer people a lifestyle they can't achieve in the city. It's also just under an hour's drive to places such as Tauranga, making it still within commuting distance."
Harcourts Gold Star Real Estate general manager Greg Sheppard said the Waihī market was "very active at the moment".
"There is an increase in the land values, which in turn has increased the capital values making prices higher than in previous years. Due to the limited amount of land and lack of properties available in the current market demand is very high.
"Waihī is very attractive to a number of buyers due to the affordability of homes compared to the cities. It is a central location and has been attracting tourists for the bike trails and the mining tours. It has a fantastic community spirit with a lot of history."
Waihī Beach had become a desirable location because it was an easy drive from the main centres such as Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga and was playing catch up on the high prices of other coastal towns such as Whangamata and Pauanui.
"The services and amenities are available in Waihī Beach which has previously been a hidden secret, with buyers moving to Waihī Beach rather than living in the main centres to avoid the congestion of the cities."
"My feeling is that Waihī Beach will be the next coastal town and will continue to flourish for some time to come."
Professionals NRG Realty branch manager Peter Sherman said there were about 10 sales a month for 2017 and the pattern has continued through 2018 which he expected to continue for the rest of the year.
"Demand for properties remains steady, supply has weakened somewhat so prices remain strong.
"I believe that there was a long period of little growth and negative growth during the period between say 2008 and 2013 for many rural towns like Waihī. I think many areas and towns lost a lot of ground in terms of the relativity of their values to Auckland property values. I believe many areas are still recovering some of that lost ground."
Waihī, of course, has always been an attractive, historic town with loads of charm and character, was handy to three main centres and had a strong local economy aided in no small part by the local gold-mining industry, he said.
Simon Anderson, chief executive of Realty Group, which operates Eves and Bayleys, said Waihī and Waihī Beach have always been popular as bigger areas have tackled increased growth over the years.
Waihī and Waihī Beach had also become more attractive due to affordability, he said.
BY THE NUMBERS
2017 Waihī: 116 sales, median sale price $328,000
WaihīBeach: 75 sales, median sale price $720,000
2018 Waihī: 109 sales, median sale price $370,000
Waihī Beach: 83 sales, median sale price $750,000
— Source: REINZ