New Whangārei District Council rating valuations have boosted district land values by 47.5 per cent from $9.94 billion in 2015 to $14.67 billion in 2018 for rates to be applied from July 1 this year.
The biggest increase was for residential properties, which rose from a 47 per cent share of the 2015 value to 50 per cent last year.
Lifestyle properties also increased from 24 to 25 per cent of the district's total land value over the three years, but the value of dairy farms slipped from 7 per cent of the district's total in 2015 to 5 per cent last year and pastoral land fell from 7 per cent to 6 per cent.
The council says key drivers of the lifestyle market include Auckland buyers targeting beach communities and properties with ocean views. Locals have been capitalising on their residential property by selling and moving into lifestyle areas.
The rural market in Whangārei has been influenced by the strong lifestyle value increases. Smaller self-sufficient rural blocks within commuting distance to the city have seen demand from lifestyle buyers pushing out the traditional adjoining farmer.
Although the lifestyle component of rural productive farms is increasing, the balance land value per hectare is relatively flat.
Key drivers of the rural market include Mycoplasma bovis. The council says though there is little spread of the disease in the North, the negative impacts on the national economy and the risks are becoming high, creating a stigma in the rural market.
The dairy payout is up, meaning most farmers' situations are improving against the record lows of the 2015/16 season, although farmers are still recovering and are hesitant to invest into their operations.
Productive farms in the North are generally "affordable" compared to other regions, and this makes them appealing for first farm buyers, who are happy to take over a farm that requires improving.
Well-established farmers prefer to purchase a property with quality dwellings and infrastructure.
The biggest increase in land values recorded in rural areas of the Whangārei district was a 92 per cent rise for residential dwellings from $174,518 to $328,920 in Pipiwai, Purua, Ruatangata West, Matarau and Three Mile Bush.
Land values for residential dwellings at Titoki, Parakao, Ōpouteke and Nukutawhiti also rose 89 per cent from $54,909 to $103,171 between 2015-18. A 75 per cent average capital value increase for properties in these areas alongside the Mangakahia Valley was the highest inn the district.
By contrast, land values for residential dwellings increased only 22 per cent from $376,907 to $435,321 at Whakapara, Helena Bay and Whananaki North and they rose only 41 per cent from $373,126 to $488,353 at Whananaki South, Tutukaka, Ngunguru and Glenbervie.
Land owners have until February 15 to object to the new rating valuations.
Properties in the Whangārei district are revalued every three years. Quotable Value carried out the 2015 revaluation and last year's valuations were done by new council contractor Opteon.