Property prices in holiday hotspots are leaping ahead of many city areas and far outstripping the comparatively flat Auckland market.

Whitianga, Wanaka, Pāuanui and even rustic Te Anau, an entrance to Fiordland National Park, have all experienced a 50 per cent-plus boom in property prices in the past three years.

Tourism, investment and being able to able to move to the beach are being cited as reasons driving the rapid rises.

In Whitianga the median sales price was $689,000 for the three months to the end of January, up 65 per cent on the median for the same period in 2015/16.

Advertisement

Wanaka was up 61 per cent to $1.12 million, Te Anau rose 55 per cent to $465,000, and Pāuanui increased by 54 per cent to $789,000, according to data gathered by the Real Estate Institute.

Property prices at Whitianga on the Coromandel have increased by 65 per cent in three years.
Property prices at Whitianga on the Coromandel have increased by 65 per cent in three years.

Other holiday-area increases listed by the institute were Omaha, 31 per cent, to $1.76 million; Whangamata, 38 per cent, to $662,500; Mt Maunganui, 27 per cent, to $755,500; Papamoa Beach, 22 per cent, to $700,000; and Taupō, 35 per cent, to $460,000.

Looking at price rises in cities and regions, the Auckland region rose 10 per cent, to $850,000; Wellington region, 42 per cent, to $605,000; Dunedin city, 38 per cent, to $421,000; Christchurch, 4 per cent, to $458,000; Tauranga, 27 per cent, to $660,000; and Hamilton, 32 per cent, to $562,500. New Zealand as a whole rose 24 per cent, to $565,000.

Property prices increased 31 per cent at Omaha in three years. Photo / Doug Sherring
Property prices increased 31 per cent at Omaha in three years. Photo / Doug Sherring

Institute chief executive Bindi Norwell said: "We are continuously seeing values rise in these holiday hotspots with great interest in both the northern beach areas such as Whitianga, and the southern lake townships such as Wanaka.

"There is continued interest in purchasing a holiday home, especially given the warm weather we have been experiencing."

For more property news and listings go to oneroof.co.nz

Norwell said tourism helped drive demand for holiday homes by exposing people to New Zealand beauty spots. Some bought there partly as a good long-term investment and this was aided by the popularity of rental websites such as Bookabach and Airbnb.

Another factor fuelling demand was good broadband connection and flexible employers which together enabled some people to migrate to the beach and work from home at least part-time.

Norwell said despite the big price rises in some holiday areas, they remained reasonably affordable.

"Omaha is pretty high, but Whitianga at $662,000 is still lower than the median Auckland price of $850,000."

She said the Auckland region had sat around that price for the past 22 months, with prices still going up in some areas and declining in others.

Former Kiwis rugby league assistant coach Graeme Norton has no plans to help fuel the bach-country property boom by putting his large, waterside property at Omaha Flats, north of Auckland, on the market.

He loves the bach life and spent the whole summer at his property, which is the size of a cricket oval, and has had up to 100 friends and family staying at one time.

Graeme Norton loves the bach life at his Omaha Flats property north of Auckland. Photo / Doug Sherring
Graeme Norton loves the bach life at his Omaha Flats property north of Auckland. Photo / Doug Sherring

Point Wells to the north and Omaha Beach to the east have developed into residential-sized properties, but Omaha Flats has remained in larger lifestyle blocks, with some horticultural properties.

Norton, who lives at Pūhoi, said he still sees Omaha as a beach resort, but it is heading in the direction of becoming a suburb, particularly as Northern Motorway construction extends northwards.

But Norton is not tempted to sell up. "It's too good," he said.

Nor has he been lured into investigating what the development options might be under the Unitary Plan for the property, which has been with his family for three generations.

"[The place] will see me out. It will be the next generation - they will have to decide what they want to do."