Leaky homes, outdated decor and homes that are one bedroom short are being snapped up in desirable suburbs as Tauranga's property market tightens.

Harcourt's general manager Nigel Martin said there were more buyers opting for "do-up" properties in a bid to get on the property ladder.

Others wanted to buy in sought-after, established parts of Tauranga and Mount Maunganui, which meant buying older, outdated homes that needed work to bring them up to today's standard.

"Some people want to be close to the action and the downtown."


Others were happy to pay similar prices to buy new homes in The Lakes or Papamoa East.

Investors were also buying homes that "needed some work", bringing tradesmen in and having the renovated house ready to rent within a month.

Ray White Papamoa and Mount Maunganui owner Greg Purcell said as time passed people were more confident buying leaky homes.

"A sense of calm has been restored," he said.

Vendors were being open and upfront about the issues and the selling price reflected the need for repair work to be done on the property, he said.

Ross Stanway, chief executive of Realty Services, which operates Bayleys and Eves, said buyers were prepared to look at properties outside their ideal.

"Definitely people are looking at buying a house that they can adjust and improve to end up with what they want," he said.

"If they can't locate the perfect property then they do look at alternatives like buying a house that needs some work on it."

The stigma around leaky homes had been overtaken by people factoring the repairs into the purchase price, he said.

"Issues are well disclosed and people can make their own judgment to correct it or level the house because the section is what they're after."

Tauranga Refresh Renovations franchise owner Mike Archer had Tauranga clients renovating homes, adding bedrooms and en suites, rather than forking out for larger homes in less desirable locations.

"We're starting to see more and more of that. They like where they are. If you can do an addition for $50,000 to $70,000 then the maths is there supporting the renovation," he said.

He had also had a lot of clients buy homes that they didn't like aspects of and renovating them to suit.

Price and location were the biggest drivers to buy, rather than the home itself, he said.

"They like the area, they like the schools, they like the access to the CBD because that's where they predominantly work," he said.

"It's busy, between new builds and renovations; it's a huge market here."

Tauranga, Mount Maunganui and Omokoroa First National owner Anton Jones said there was an increase in people looking for properties to work on.

"The whole market in general is very busy across the board really, but people are trying to look at getting a bit of captial gain, trying to get ahead.

"With the demand being quite high in general, it's pushing prices up a little bit now so [do-ups] are what people can afford as well."

David MacKay says the houses on offer have been well cared for. Photo / John Borren
David MacKay says the houses on offer have been well cared for. Photo / John Borren