House sales in Mount Maunganui and Papamoa have hit a nine-year high with 141 homes selling in September - an 81 per cent leap from the same month last year.

The volume of sales was the highest the area had seen since November 2006 when 151 houses sold. It was up by 30 per cent from August.

The median price also skyrocketed along the stretch of coastline to $582,000 - the highest recorded in the area since the Real Estate Institute started collecting data in 1992.

Nigel Martin
Nigel Martin

It also made the area the most expensive in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty last month.


Eves and Bayleys Real Estate chief executive Ross Stanway said the busy month reflected what he had seen in both Eves and Bayleys sales figures.

"There's been a significant lift in interest and activity," he said. The market had been fuelled by more listings coming up for sale as sellers were realising how much interest there was from buyers.

"They've been met by a very ready market of buyers."

A healthy real estate market was reflective of how much the region had to offer, Mr Stanway said. "The beach lifestyle is a factor but not the only factor ... There's a lot happening in our region," he said.

Despite the huge leap in sales in Mount Maunganui and Papamoa and the average month in Tauranga, he said sales swayed each side of the bridge month-to-month.

Harcourts managing director Nigel Martin said the 141 sales in Mount Maunganui and Papamoa was one of the biggest months he had seen in the industry in that area.

"Once it's over 140 that's new territory.

"I knew as the month progressed, seeing what sales figures we had, I knew it would be a big month."

Mr Martin also believed more people were inclined to put their house on the market because of the amount of buyer activity.

"They've realised the prices have jumped up and they want to make the most of that."

However, Mount Maunganui and Papamoa Ray White Realty Focus franchise owner Greg Purcell said the market was still experiencing a shortage of supply.

"It's the same old story, we're running out of things to sell."

Tauranga had benefited from Aucklanders saying, "'Look, I've had enough. I'm out of here'," Mr Purcell said.

The Bay was a great choice because of its proximity to Auckland and its lifestyle, he said, but he had heard through other agents that the Auckland market had slowed slightly.

Meanwhile, across the bridge, Tauranga house sales had another healthy month with 161 houses sold and a median sale price of $472,500.

Simon Martin, also managing director of Harcourts, said compared to other months this year, Tauranga sales of 161 were about average.

It was still in the right direction but a long way off highs such as 216 in July and 202 in May.

"It's possibly due to the lack of supply issue ... We're still seeing a lot of interest."

Although Harcourts had noticed a lot more stock come on to the market recently, as was often the case in spring, Mr Martin said.

Couple dig a bit deeper to land home

Tim Fine and his partner Bethan Brown were renting in Mount Maunganui for two years before they bought a house recently, only a few streets away.

Mr Fine said it was competitive to buy at the Mount but they liked the lifestyle and location so "bit the bullet" and spent more than he would have imagined at the start of the year.

The pair were looking for a house seriously for about six weeks. "We got to a stage we thought we'd have to start looking outside the Mount."

When a property popped up near to where they were renting, Mr Fine contacted Eves real estate agent Danielle Hayes and she showed them through that day. They made a pre-auction offer, which was declined by the vendors, and after seeing the price a house across the road sold for at auction they went back to the vendor with a more competitive offer.

The auction was brought forward and the couple secured the three-bedroom home. "It was still within our budget but, if we thought we would have paid that for that house at the start of the year, I wouldn't have considered it."