A Hawke's Bay house which is the last place you'd want to be in the event of a large East Coast swell has sold for an astonishingly cheap $75,500.

The 21 Clifton Road, Haumoana house is the cheapest beach front home sold in the past 12 months in New Zealand, according to Valocity statistics.

It's also the third cheapest house sale in the country over that period.

The house, bought in March by an unnamed trust, is the second property on the road to sell in the past six months.

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25 Clifton Road sold in late November for $135,000, $25,000 less than what it was bought for in 1997.

Both houses were owned by the late John Bridgeman who was a strong advocate for protecting the homes along the Clifton Rd beach front from the effects of coastal erosion and climate change.

Bridgeman's house is one of the only houses that can withstand the battering from the ocean. Photo / Paul Taylor
Bridgeman's house is one of the only houses that can withstand the battering from the ocean. Photo / Paul Taylor

Bridgeman, 79, died at 19 Clifton Rd, known locally as "Bridgeman Peninsula" early last year.

His houses and properties along the beach front are now being sold off by his children.

Bridgeman's wife Shirley Coker, who still lives in 19 Clifton Rd and says she will not leave, said the people renting next door had packed up as a result of the sale.

21 Clifton Rd, Haumoana (right) which sold for $75,500 next to the fortress of Bridgeman Peninsula (left). Photo / Warren Buckland.
21 Clifton Rd, Haumoana (right) which sold for $75,500 next to the fortress of Bridgeman Peninsula (left). Photo / Warren Buckland.

"The people who were renting the houses off John's daughter were really gutted to leave because they absolutely loved living on the beach front and loved the community as well."

Coker said Bridgeman had a vision to extend his own wall, which he built in 2002, and construct it to protect the rest of the properties along the erosion-ridden coastline that Clifton Rd runs down.

"There's a saying that people in Haumoana call our house the 'Bridgeman Peninsula' and when the sea eventually claims the rest of the houses this will be the only one standing."

The erosion of Te Awanga and Haumoana beaches is a continuation of a long term erosion trend extending back to the 1930s, but has been emboldened by climate change.

The erosion has gradually caused the shoreline to retreat and exposed coastal properties to increasing risk of wave damage during major storms.

Haumoana properties get battered by the huge swells along the coast. Photo / Peak Video
Haumoana properties get battered by the huge swells along the coast. Photo / Peak Video

The same trend can also be observed at East Clive and at Clifton with historical records showing the whole coastline from the mouth of the Ngaruroro southwards to the tip of Cape Kidnappers is generally in retreat.

Video taken during a swell event last year shows how close the houses are to the angry sea when it is at high tide and in full flight.

Keith Newman from lobby group Save the Cape Coast believe the Hawke's Bay Regional Council is capable of putting a plan in place that can, in time, make the houses along the coast safer from the sea.

"The council is doing a lot to help us ... find a solution to the issue but that will all take time and in the meantime houses in that area will only go cheaper and cheaper."

Coker said most of the houses around her that were owned by Bridgeman were now on the market or had been sold or demolished.

Coker said 21 Clifton Rd was now being renovated and is likely to be rented again, while 15 is being demolished.

Other homes along the Cape Coast at Haumoana have already succumbed to the elements. Photo / Paul Taylor
Other homes along the Cape Coast at Haumoana have already succumbed to the elements. Photo / Paul Taylor

Both 17 and 13 are now on the market.

The two properties on the market look set to go for a song again. 17 Clifton Rd has a Rating Valuation (RV) of $121,000, the same as 21 Clifton Rd.

Number 13's valuation puts it at just $88,000.

Most of Clifton Rd's beachfront values sit at about $150,000 except for a few houses including John Bridgeman's "Bridgeman Peninsula", which is valued at $330,000 according to QV.

Homes on the same road across the street have an average value between $300,000 and $500,000.

Coker says life on the street is ideal, despite the threat of the sea, and people were willing to drop everything to give each other a hand.

"It's a great community to live in," she said.

"If we have a storm we always go and see how everyone is and always give each other a helping hand, it's really good like that.

"We have our own Facebook page and if you ever need anything you put something up and just there for you, it's fantastic, absolutely fantastic.

"You wouldn't get something like that living in town."