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Plenty of action in the Western Bay: Tauranga taking on a new look

3 November 2016

Keeping up with market advances is a challenge in the Western Bay of Plenty, as the influence of Auckland buyers spreads across the region.

The general sentiment in Tauranga is extremely positive, with real estate agencies consistently reporting a shortage of property listings and few home owners bringing their properties to the market.

The overall residential property market in Tauranga is now well past the peak of 2007. The average house price for Tauranga residential gained 22.6% in the year to April 2016 and continues to rise.

The better performing suburbs in Tauranga are Mount Maunganui, Papamoa, Otumoetai and Matua. The other suburbs started to show much greater value movements from mid-2016. For rental yield, investors tend to look at Merivale, Parkvale, Greerton and Arataki.

There is also a large number of new houses being built, especially at Papamoa East, The Lakes and Pyes Pa. Hundreds of sections will be released over the next 10 years.

Almost a dozen major building projects were underway in Tauranga in 2016, worth more than $200m in total and others on the drawing boards are easily worth another $200m.

That excludes retirement villages, apartments and residential dwellings.

Stage 1 of the $30m construction of The Crossing at the entrance of Tauriko Business Estate opened mid-2016. About $100m is planned to be spent at this site, with a 26-shop indoor mall to be added in about five years.

Construction is well advanced at 306 Cameron Road, on the corner of 3rd Ave, for a $20m, four-storey office block with underground car parking. There will be retail space at street level.

In the planning phase is a $10m Stage 1 project at the Marine Precinct on Sulphur Point for the Tauranga City Council. The council also plans to build a new civic building near Baycourt. Zespri has spent $10.1m buying its current site on Maunganui Road for its head office redevelopment. The $30m tertiary campus on Durham Street is scheduled for completion 2019-20.

Port of Tauranga continues to be a magnet for business. The availability of large industrial sites in the Tauriko Business Estate and elsewhere has encouraged businesses to relocate to Tauranga.

The Tauranga Property Investors Association (TPIA) serves members from Waihi Beach to Whakatane. It takes pride in being open and helpful, making the combined wisdom of its members available for free each time it meets.

Members like to get out and about, so some meetings are hosted off-site by the likes of Carpet Court, Bunnings and Harcourts. Mid 2016 the TPIA organized a two-day seminar for property managers and investors featuring Brian Kerr.

It publishes its own quarterly magazine, which is distributed across the Western Bay and Rotorua.

The annual TPIA bus tour rolled into the Wairakei Zone in early 2016, a strip of land running parallel to the coast at Papamoa. In all, about 3500 homes are planned for in this zone, as well as a major town centre and several community amenity blocks and a couple of commercial centres. On completion, about 100,000 people will live and work there.

“Our secret is out,“ says TPIA president Grant Harris. “The Western Bay of Plenty is a great place to live, work and invest, so much so that we now run the risk of becoming officially ‘unaffordable’.

“You are welcome to attend one of our monthly meetings to discuss these topics, and others, with fellow property investors. Check out dates on our website. It’s always an informative, yet friendly, event.”    

- Grant Harris is president of the Tauranga Property Investors Association. Article published in New Zealand Property Investors Federation's 2016-17 property investing overview.