The average value of homes in Tauranga has increased 45.5 per cent in just over a decade, according to Quotable Value's latest data.
The latest monthly QV House Price Index showed the average value of a Tauranga home was now $700,744, a 45.5 per cent jump from the last market peak in 2007.
In the past year, Tauranga home values rose 2.6 per cent but dropped 0.9 per cent in the past three months.
In the Western Bay of Plenty, home values increased 5.2 per cent year on year and 1.8 per cent in the past three months. The average value in the district was now $633,569.
Simon Anderson, chief executive of Realty Group which operates Eves and Bayleys, said there was a strong presence of "local buyers buying local".
Anderson said Auckland buyers previously made up 50 per cent of the market, but now only 10 per cent of buyers were from the city.
More people were moving between suburbs, he said.
"People see better value in other places, so they look further afield."
Anderson said the top end of the market in Mount Maunganui, Bethlehem and houses on Pyes Pa Rd had been popular for a long time.
"Executive families are buying there."
Rochelle Carter, from Ray White Pukehina, said the median value of a home in Pukehina, $687,450, would secure a three-bedroom home opposite the beach on an 800sq m freehold section with possible rural views.
Carter said estuary frontage and beachfront properties were commanding good prices in the area.
"The popular homes are three bedrooms, single level with views, depending on affordability. We have many old baches now being replaced with large homes for permanent living."
First National, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga and Omokoroa owner Anton Jones said Matua was a popular and affluent area.
"The house prices there have gone up significantly. Certainly the ones with water views."
However, Jones said it had become harder to sell in Matua and the wider Tauranga area in recent months as demand dropped.
But there were more listings for buyers to choose from, he said.
QV Tauranga general manager Melanie Lewis said Matua, Mount Maunganui and the inner avenues had traditionally been Tauranga's most sought after suburbs.
"Matua benefits from proximity to Tauranga's CBD while also having access to good schools and recreational facilities.
"It is also an attractive area with quality housing of generous sizing, and as it is a peninsula, many properties have harbour views."
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said Tauranga's property market had benefited from the energy in the region's economy.
Vaughan said development and business activity had reached "critical mass".
"The city has a good climate and it has a strong service economy," he said. "Businesses there can attract and retain good staff, and its coastal climate has long been popular with retirees."
Those "crucial factors" were unlikely to change, Vaughan said.
"The fact that Tauranga boasts several suburbs that are approaching the million-dollar-median value mark suggests demand will remain even as the market enters a period of consolidation."
What is it about Matua and the Mount?
The median value of houses in Matua had reached $810,850.
QV data showed Matua's median home value was about $60,000 less than houses in Mount Maunganui which had the city's highest median value.
Bowls Matua vice president Cliff Osborne moved to Matua in 2000 and said in 18 years not much had changed.
"That is the attraction. You have a halt on time here. It is like you are in a time warp."
Some of his neighbours had lived there for 40 years, Osborne said.
Change, however, came in people modernising their homes to fit the trend.
"People don't want to leave here, so they renovate."
Osborne said Matua was a conservative and quiet area populated by mostly older residents.
"It is on a peninsula. You don't just get people driving here for a look, you have got to be here for a reason."
Most of the houses in the area were built in the 1970s and every house was different, Osborne said.
"There is a village atmosphere."
Osborne said it was the solidarity of the homes that was driving price growth.
Fergusson Park, the bowls club, Matua School, the local pub and Radius Life Care were all attractive amenities within the area.
"It is very compact; you can get around very quickly," he said.
Matua Residents Association chairman Richard Kluit moved to the area in the 1980s.
"We have owned three houses over the years in Matua. As the family has changed, we have changed houses. That is not uncommon."
During the 1980s the area was mostly populated with people aged 50-plus, but now attracted generations of families.
"It was one of the more expensive suburbs, now it is much more affordable and it is much more family orientated," he said.
"There are still a number of retirees attracted to the bowling club. It is one of the best bowling clubs in the country right there in Matua."
Kluit, a real estate agent at Eves, said the attraction to Matua was lesser traffic and its low crime rate.
Spotlight on Matua
- 5151 people usually live in Matua
- It has 4.5 per cent of Tauranga City's population
- There are 2391 men and 2757 women
- Median age is 48
- 25.9 per cent of people are 65 and over
- 17.9 per cent of people are under 15
- 75.6 per cent of households in occupied private dwellings owned the dwelling or held it in a family trust
- Median weekly rent is $310
- 479 business locations (geographic units)
- 420 paid employees
Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census 2013
- 84 per cent of residential sales were single-family homes. The remainder were flats.
- 40 per cent of sales were for properties with a view, while slightly less than a quarter of Mount sales were for properties with a view.
- The average year built for a sold property in Matua was 1980, while Mount properties were slightly newer with an average year built of 1988.
- 80 per cent of sales were properties with a garage.
Source: Quotable Value