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The ones to watch; Tauranga’s up and coming suburbs

With a pristine coastline and relaxed beachy feel, it’s easy to see why many Kiwis aspire to settle in the Bay of Plenty, and in particular across Tauranga and Mt Maunganui. Bayleys Bay of Plenty General Manager Jon O’Connor says demand for the area is high, with one of the biggest selling points being its natural beauty.

“So obviously there’s the beautiful beaches and accessibility to Rotorua’s Lakes and up to the Coromandel. The climate is attractive, but also probably the fact that we're on the corner of the Golden Triangle.”

Just a two-and-a-half-hour drive to Auckland, and one-and-a-half hours to Hamilton; its close proximity means you can still easily keep in touch with your friends and family if you choose to make the move. It seems many people are, with info metrics population data revealing a 2.1% increase in the year to June 2023.

But after covid and a tough market slowed migration from Auckland, O’Connor says that things are starting to ramp up again.

“People have always had moving down here on their radar, and now they finally can post covid. But it’s not only people from Auckland, it's also from other main centres like Wellington and Christchurch.”

It’s the perfect location for those who are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of bigger city living, but still have a need to keep their finger on the pulse.

“I think Kiwis have an affinity with the water, and whichever way you turn in Tauranga you’re surrounded by water.”

“There’s also business opportunities. We always knew that Tauranga was going to be a growing city, and it continues to do so. There's going to be a lot of investment particularly in the CBD, around revitalising it and encouraging more people to live and work in the CBD.”

That focus on economic prosperity is what O’Connor believes is giving these four suburbs a boost. So, what can you expect from each of them, and how much are you likely to pay for a property there?


After years of underinvestment O’Connor says there’s been a big push from the business community to modernise parts of the CBD and create new spaces for Tauranga locals to visit and enjoy.

“You only have to come down here and look at the cranes across the skyline that have been absent for the last decade popping up everywhere, which is great.”

A big part of that development is the launch of Elizabeth Towers that includes 120 residences spread across two high rises.

“There’s a huge sky garden which sits above a big retail and hospitality podium. It’s a new and unique way of living in New Zealand and has a real sense of community.”

The towers offer big open spaces, a concierge service, resident’s lounge, gym and communal gardens right in the heart of the city. O’Connor says the development looks set to bring at least 200 people into the CBD to live. It’s a move that’s also given other developers the confidence to invest in the area.

“There are a number of other large private developments starting to take shape. They’ll be complemented by investment from Tauranga City Council into new things like a library, and convention centre as well as upgrades to the art gallery and waterfront.”

So how much could a new place set you back? O’Connor says over the last 12 months the median sale price for central city Tauranga is $975,000.

“Another thing that council has been working on with central government is intensification within Tauranga in certain pockets. In particular along the peninsula, which is essentially from the CBD running all the way down to the Avenues.”

O’Connor says that’s where you’ll find a lot of brownfield developments like townhouses and small apartments.

“They're nice, new, modern, convenient and easy living options that’ll hopefully draw people back to the city.”


A couple of blocks away from the CBD is the Avenues, an older city suburb that’s seeing a sudden transformation.

“The avenues is a beautiful, well-established part of suburban Tauranga with old homes on it, but now we’re going to start seeing those homes being removed and replaced with more modern living options.”

O’Connor says there’ll be a lot more apartments and townhouses pop up in this suburb over the next few years, which is great for those wanting convenience outside of the CBD.

“It's a long, skinny belt of land that’s surrounded by harbour. Essentially, it’s a grid that starts at first avenue and runs all the way up to 23rd. If you're at first you're essentially in the CBD, until you go out to about fifth or sixth, and then you're starting to move into the Avenues.”

There are a range of nice homes available, and the further south you go the more affordable it becomes.

“Cameron road, our main arterial route has just had a huge reverb over the last two years with cycle lanes, bus lanes and walking lanes. So it’s really encouraging people living in the Avenues to come into the CBD on their bikes or their scooters.”

O’Connor says the median sale price of the Avenues sits around $714,000.


O’Connor says Pyes Pa sits at the other end of Cameron Road and has traditionally been a mix of agricultural and horticultural land.

“That went through a huge redevelopment in the late nineties to early 2000s with a lot of green fields subdivisions opening up.”

There’s now a mix of modern housing, and housing that’s around twenty years old with more greenfield developments on the way.

“So that's an opportunity for people who want more suburban living and a much newer home to go to.”

There’s plenty of amenities in the area too, with retail and shopping complex The Lakes, as well as restaurants, cinemas and a large industrial park. It's convenient location also allows for easy access to a number of crossroads if you’re travelling out of the area.

“If you’re going to Rotorua, Hamilton or over to Mount Maunganui or into the CBD.”

“The area really has everything you need including great schooling. It’s becoming increasingly popular from what used to be just orchards 30 years ago.”

O’Connor says the median price of a home in Pyes Pa sits around $770,000.


Finally, if you’re after more beachy living, then O’Connor says look no further than Papamoa.

“You have the coast, and the golden sand where you’ve got both ends of the spectrum in terms of housing. You have some really high-end beautiful homes further away from the beach.” “Maybe further down Papamoa which we call Papamoa east, you’ve probably got some more affordable housing which is perfect for first home buyers. But all is still in pretty close proximity via car to get to the water.”

The newly refurbished Bayfair Shopping Centre isn’t far from Papamoa, and there’s also the new arterial route down to eastern Bay of Plenty that’s cut the commute time and made it easier to reach Papamoa.

O’Connor says the area has a lot of potential, and opportunities for growth.

“That’s mainly through intensification. So, in some of the older parts of Papamoa we'll start to see some higher density housing, but there’s also some land down there which lends itself to sprawl and newer homes.”

O’Connor says right now the median sale price is higher than the other upcoming suburbs at around $1,000,000.

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