A grand old Taranaki post office building is on the market and potentially offering buyers a 10.8 per cent return on investment.

Built in 1923 in Patea - about 60km north of Whanganui, and 27km south of Hawera - the two-storey building formerly served as the small town's post office with room upstairs for the postmaster and their family.

More recently, it was used as a residential home and bed and breakfast, until the current owner moved overseas.

That led the property to initially be listed for sale without a published sale price, First National selling agent Kelly Baldwin said.

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The historic post office has an open plan living area downstairs. Photo / Supplied
The historic post office has an open plan living area downstairs. Photo / Supplied

But a decision to relist the five bedroom, two bathroom property yesterday for a price of $239,000 had now created a buzz, she said.

"We've had lots of inquiries since then, it has certainly kept me busy," Baldwin said.

She said the building with its 590sq m of floor space was currently being rented out to two tenants for $490 per week.

Located across two titles, it also sits on a 1200sq m block of land on the Patea main road.

With ocean views from its upper floor, the building could be used as an investment property or as a home where part of the space is rented out for added income, Baldwin said.

The building's importance is recognised by the South Taranaki District Council, which gives it a cultural value rating of 10 out of 20.

The building also comes with a 1200sq m block. Photo / Supplied
The building also comes with a 1200sq m block. Photo / Supplied

This included an architectural value rating of 3 out of 4, despite the council describing the building as being built with a "strictly utilitarian" design in mind.

Very little money was spent on decoration with "the general idea being to obtain a maximum space for the workers for the minimum cost".

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The old post office originally contained postal boxes near its entrance, a spacious mail room and a strong room that was fire and burglar proof and capable of keeping large quantities of important documents safe.

It sits on a piece of land that was first earmarked for a post office in 1867 when the town of Patea was surveyed.

Before that date, an irregular mail service ran between Patea and Whanganui with all letters carried under military escort.

Baldwin said the home had recently been fitted with ceiling insulation and "bathroom upgrades" and came with a large open plan living area downstairs and large wood fire heater.