House prices in Waihi Beach have jumped 13.4 per cent in one year, and the average property is now worth nearly $800,000, according to the latest QV quarterly report.
Figures show the estimated median value of a home in Waihi Beach was $699,850 in December 2016 to $793,650 in December 2017. The estimated median value of houses in the area was $799,200 in January 2018.
House prices in Te Puke rose 11.2 per cent in one year from December 2016. The average property was worth $431,500 in December 2016 and $479,850 in December 2017.
Pukehina house prices jumped 10.8 per cent. The average property was worth $618,350 in December 2016 and $685,250 in December 2017.
Ray White Pukehina owner Rochelle Carter said Pukehina had attracted a lot of interest in houses worth up to $600,000.
Carter said interest was typically from young first-home buyers seeking the "dream lifestyle" to reside in a community.
"With the choice of three primary schools, plus a selection of shopping venues only a short drive away, these mid-range priced properties are attracting very good interest," Carter said.
Although buyers were taking their time, there was interest in higher-priced properties, she said.
Buyers from Auckland, Hamilton and Rotorua were starting to recognise the Western Bay as an affordable place to live.
Andrew Young moved into his "dream" beachfront property at Pukehina at the end of February.
The 51-year-old told the Bay of Plenty Times in January that he had purchased the property for $865,000 in October last year and said it was "a bargain for anywhere in New Zealand on the beach".
"My whole life I wanted to be on the beach," Young said. "I am on the beachfront, and I have a 180-degree view down the coast to some of the islands."
Young had lived in Papamoa since 2006 but visited Pukehina once and fell in love with the area because of its community feel.
"I didn't know who my neighbours were in Papamoa, but now I do," he said.
In Tauranga, the most significant jump in home values was in Mount Maunganui which had a 6.5 per cent price increase in one year. The average property in the area was worth $796,450 in December 2016 to $848,150 and December 2017.
Bethlehem house prices jumped 6.1 per cent. The average property was worth $733,600 in December 2016 and $778,150 in December 2017.
First National, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga and Omokoroa owner Anton Jones said it was no surprise Mount Maunganui and Bethlehem were hotspots.
"The Mount has become very popular now that you have got people living there as well as the holiday homes, so it is a bit of a double whammy.
"Bethlehem is popular because it has some good schools and it is close to town, so it is not surprising at all."
Tauranga Harcourts' managing director Simon Martin said homes in Mount Maunganui and Bethlehem were a lot more expensive than other areas.
"In the Mount, you have got no more land to be developed, so if people want to buy the value increases," Martin said. "In Bethlehem, the homes are newer and are worth a bit more."
Top five estimated median value increases in the Western Bay of Plenty (Dec 2016-2017):
Waihi Beach: $699,850-$793,650
Te Puke: $431,500-$479,850
Top five estimated value increases in Tauranga (Dec 2016-2017)
Mount Maunganui: $796,450-$848,150
Tauranga South: $586,800-$616,550