Coastal properties in the Bay of Islands, at Doubtless Bay and on the Karikari Peninsula are "taking off" as more people look north according to Century 21 New Zealand owner Derryn Mayne.
Covid-19 had been a key instigator in the "explosion" of interest in coastal properties over the past nine months, as more people worked remotely, and were being lured to the coast.
"Last year's lockdowns showed a lot of Kiwis, and their employers or clients, that remote working is not only achievable, but a lot more acceptable. What's more, the pandemic has spurred on a global appreciation for coastal living, greater human space, and the healthy outdoors generally," she said.
It wasn't only coastal properties that had become popular. So too had lifestyle blocks and semi-rural communities.
"When you also consider that overseas travel is out, while interest rates remain at record low levels, the attraction of waterfront and coastal real estate makes total sense," she said.
"People are also conscious that the Reserve Bank is re-introducing loan to value ratios in March. With holiday homes viewed as investment properties, Kiwis are keen to get in now before banks require bigger deposits from most investors."
Mayne said as well as very low debt servicing costs, a coastal property was now more "doable" for many New Zealanders thanks to the likes of Bookabach, Bachcare and Airbnb, which enabled buyers to cover their expenses by letting out their holiday homes with strong domestic tourism demand.
"Sure, many people factor in uncertainties about sea level rise and insurance, but in the end the pure attraction of waterfront property will always heavily outweigh any future risks," she added.
Over the last nine months the industry had observed Aucklanders getting priced out of Coromandel, Raglan and Rodney, and many bach buyers were looking further afield, with the Bay of Islands, Cooper's Beach and the Karikari Peninsula now "taking off."
"We're seeing many new areas coming into play," she said.
"The Far North, for example, has arguably been undervalued as a destination for too long, but that's all changing. More holiday-makers and investors are discovering Northland for the first time, and access is improving thanks to projects like the Puhoi to Warkworth motorway, which is set to open next year."
She also warned that while uncertainties remained over 2021, those waiting for property prices to fall could be very disappointed.