Real Estate in the Western Bay of Plenty - Where to Live
Sun, sand, surf…it may be a cliché, but the coastal Bay of Plenty’s long, unspoilt beaches still have plenty of pull for new residents arriving from other parts of New Zealand, or overseas. The Western Bay of Plenty is a well recognised ‘sunbelt’ destination, but if any phrase sums up the appeal of Tauranga and surrounding towns, it’s ‘lifestyle choice.’
Where else can you live in a luxury apartment with sea or harbour views Sydney-style – but without the Aussie rat race (or price tag)? Perhaps you want to get your *gummies on, tucked away in a country retreat on an orchard or ‘lifestyle’ block? Grow a few fruit and raise some animals…and still hold down a city job 20 minutes drive away! In between, there are all sorts of options, from townhouses and small apartments, to retirement villages – and there’s no shortage of traditional three or four bedroom family homes in central city suburbs.
The Tauranga lifestyle has long been the envy of many. “The residents live in a city that is big enough to be considered vibrant and exciting, yet they are still close to some of the best beaches New Zealand has to offer,” as one real estate company puts it.
The Western Bay offers options: “A prized coastline, growing city and suburban sophistication, retirement villages, rural lifestyle and a strong horticultural and agricultural backbone,” adds a real estate writer.
What will you pay? Plenty by Kiwi provincial standards; Tauranga residential property has been on the pricy side, not far off Auckland. To get an idea of where the market’s at, try websites such as the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (www.reinz.org.nz) for information on market trends, and the latest median sale prices. Mount Maunganui has the most expensive properties and the sale of million dollar beachfront properties pushes up the median. But by the standards of big cities in other parts the world, we’re still a no-brainer bargain.
Our summary of the district’s real estate scene begins in inner city Tauranga, heads across the water to Mount Maunganui and Papamoa, and then swings north through Bethlehem to the ‘mural town’ town of Katikati. Then we cruise through Tauranga’s southern suburbs towards the kiwifruit capital of Te Puke. * Gumboots or galoshes
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand - www.reinz.org.nz The Institute represents the country’s real estate agents, and publishes regular summaries of residential sales, a housing price index, and consumer surveys. Look under Press Releases for the institute’s comprehensive monthly market reports and annual reviews. Check out the associated website, www.realestate.co.nz for local listings. This website also links to www.zoodle.co.nz which has useful profiles of different neighbourhoods and graphs showing market trends.
Quotable Value is NZ’s largest valuation and property information company - www.qv.co.nz QV has a huge database of more than 1.8 million properties. You can order an online property report on a residential or life style property – complete with property details, a neighbourhood profile, school zones information.
Real Estate - www.realestate.co.nz A comprehensive and user-friendly real estate website with residential, lifestyle, rentals, etc. The site has thousands of Bay of Plenty properties listed, and a search on the ‘Tauranga district’ will bring up more than 1500 properties.
Bayleys MREINZ – www.bayleys.co.nz Bayleys specialises in blue chip real estate across the region – residential, commercial, industrial and rural properties. The company carries out its own research to produce regional reports. The site is a mine of information – including ‘tips’.
Eves Realty – www.eves.co.nz A ‘heritage’ local brand, the largest real estate company in the area. The site covers residential properties, rentals, holiday rentals and property management.
Ray White Real Estate - www.rwtauranga.co.nz This long-established company has offices throughout the Western Bay – from Greerton through central Tauranga as far north Waihi Beach and Waihi town. The user-friendly site allows searches of residential, rural, and commercial properties. Good tips on auctions, etc and plenty of rentals too.
(Sources: ‘Tauranga – Caught on a Wave,’ by Jo Ferris, landlords.co.nz; Real Estate Institute of New Zealand; Bayleys Realty Group; Alison Thompson’s ‘Tauranga Real Estate Guide’ at www.taurangarealestateguide.co.nz Thanks to Liz French and Allison Stewart for editing and other assistance)