The Whangārei suburb that has racked up the most record-breaking sales in the past 10 years is also its most expensive, but the price of luxury homes in Langs Beach are still a bargain compared to the super rich markets of Auckland and Queenstown.
OneRoof and its data partner Valocity looked at the biggest property sales in each of the main cities over the past decade and found that Langs Beach had one of the highest shares in the country. Langs Beach has a median property value of $1,515,000.
Langs Beach laid claim to Whangārei's biggest house sales in six of the past 10 years, with one street in particular - Hector Lang Drive - setting the majority of the records. By contrast Herne Bay, New Zealand's most expensive residential suburb, had just four of Auckland's highest sales in the past decade.
The biggest sale in the area was the $6.55 million paid for a house on Cove Rd, McKenzie Bay, in 2015. The largest in Langs itself was a property in Hector Lang Dr that sold for $5.2m.
For Bayleys real estate agent Christine Birss, it's a no-brainer why the area is so sought after.
And Birss should know - she grew up at Langs Beach (her great-great grandfather William Maxwell Lang first founded a farm there in 1857 while her grandfather William (Digger) Lang started the first subdivision there in 1927.
She's also sold around $300m of properties at Langs Beach in the 16 years she's been in the real estate game and knows well why people are attracted to the area.
''It's a very family friendly beach, that's great for all ages. For the littlies there are the rock pools and streams and the sand. There's also some good surf at times in the middle [of the beach] and it's a great place for windsurfing, paddle boarding and other water sports. Also a lot of schools use the beach for field trips and end of year get-togethers and for training."
Langs Beach was also only 90 minutes from Auckland, which made it a good place for a weekend getaway and it was also popular for people from Whangārei.
Birss said not all those who owned property at Langs Beach were Aucklanders, but from her experience they were almost all Kiwis.
''I have sold to people from overseas, but they were ex-pat Kiwis buying a beach house for when they came home,'' she said.
"And it's the beachfront properties that get the really big prices.''
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said Auckland had the biggest share of big sales nationwide: it recorded the biggest single property sale in all but one of the past 10 years.
There was a big difference in the sale prices too.
Whangārei's highest sales were predominantly in the $2m to $3m price band; Auckland's highest sales by contrast, ranged between $9m and $39m. Of the major metropolitan areas, only Auckland and Queenstown broke the $10m mark.
However, Kerikeri in the Far North saw sales as high as $12m in the past decade, he said.
Northland's highest sale in the past 12 months was for a property in Orokawa Bay, in Russell Surrounds, which went for $6m.
"The research shows the luxury market has not strayed from favoured waterfront suburbs such as Langs Beach and Ngunguru, in Whangārei, and the Bay of Islands in the Far North," Vaughan said.
"Langs Beach's relatively high share of big sales is due to the suburb's prime location and the influx of outside money during the boom years, which pushed prices up considerably."
The OneRoof data showed that just 0.3 per cent of Whangārei properties have a CV of more than $10m, and 0.7 per cent with CVs of between $3m and $10m.
Chester Rendell, Bay of Islands agent for New Zealand Sotheby's International Realty, said he sells mansions by selling the area. That's because the Bay of Islands is one of those very special areas.
"It's the playground of the Bay of Islands itself – 144 islands. The beaches and the bays and the fishing and the diving and the deep sea fishing and the warmth."
Location and privacy were again the big factors in selling, he said. It can help that the very wealthy know they can easily get to their house, which generally must have a separate driveway.
"That's what they're looking at; how far if I come up on a commercial flight is it to Kerikeri Airport. I think you can land your G5 jet there if you want to, and when they extend it [the airport] certainly you will be able to."