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Why the Matakana Coast is such a gem to Aucklanders

The Matakana Coast is a world class location, making it a sought after location for Aucklanders

24 March 2021

Bon Accord Harbour, Kawau Island

Savvy Auckland buyers have realised that you don’t have to travel all the way to the Bay of Islands or to the Coromandel for a quality seaside lifestyle, and real estate agents are reporting unprecedented interest on the Matakana coast.

Says Bayleys agent, Kellie Bissett: “I’m currently experiencing extraordinary demand for coastal and waterfront properties from Leigh to Scotts Landing, including Point Wells and Sandspit.”

Most parties are looking to move to the area permanently and the “huge wave” of buyers are coming from Auckland as well as those just north of the Harbour Bridge, says Kellie. And they’re keen to commit.

The Bayleys agent, currently selling a villa and one bedroom studio on a generous Sandspit site with a guide price of $2.6 million, is hearing from buyers that the value in the coastal market is excellent compared with where they’re coming from.

“The home, the lifestyle and the long term permanence of the area is viewed as exciting. The area is viewed as world class,” she says.

Many of the buyers she’s helping are in a good position to judge, they’re well travelled, well informed and are looking for a safe, long term option for their family, she adds.

Kawau, your island in the sun

One of the area’s jewels is undoubtedly Kawau Island or Te Kawau Tumaro o Toi, in the Hauraki Gulf, a short ferry ride from Sandspit. It’s extremely popular at the moment, says RE/MAX agent, Debbie Aldred. The agent, who works in the Sandspit Point Wells markets among others, spends her Fridays and Saturdays on Kawau, and says 70% of her buyer inquiry is coming for Kawau Island at the moment.

The beautiful island, a boatie’s haven, has no shops but has three places to eat and limited stores at the Kawau Boating Club. It’s a rustic lifestyle.There are no public roads and it’s tank water and septic tanks or bio-waste systems.

“That’s why people want to go and live there, but only since Covid,” says Debbie, who notes the island does have WiFi.

Bon Accord Harbour, Kawau Island

“Covid has really changed the psychology of buyers. People who work really hard can’t get away, so they’re buying their island in the sun instead,” says Debbie.

Kawau, known for its native birds, including kiwi, weka, fantails among others, has seen land costs double, but Debbie says you can buy a simple house on there for $450,000 to higher end ones over $1 million. The RE/MAX agent is bringing a home on the market there for $1.995 million, the highest to go in the market prior to this was around $1.4 million. A lot of homes on the island are being renovated at the moment, says Debbie.

Current residents in the 70 to 80 year old age range are getting off the island and those in the 40 to 60 year age range are making the move out there, says the RE/MAX agent.

Nearby Sandspit is getting its share of attention too, says Debbie. Properties in Sandspit, Matakana and Warkworth are receiving pre-auction offers, around 60% to 70% of homes spending just 10 days on the market, she estimates.

Debbie put a well-presented property online on Trade Me and 17 minutes and seven seconds later, she had an offer. It was renovated, in the bush, not near the beach, had no views and went for around $1.4 million.

The agent is seeing some buyers put a house under contract subject to viewing the property within five days. This seems to be winning them the home, she says. People offering subject to the sale of their property won’t have much luck.

“They need to be ready to buy immediately,” says Debbie. She’s suggesting to buyers to put their house on the market with a long settlement of 60, 90 to 120 days before they start looking.

“Fortune favours the brave,” she adds.

A special property in Point Wells

Point Wells is another area on the Matakana coast which is attracting a lot of interest.

Premium’s Linda Smith says people are viewing a current Point Wells waterfront listing who want a lifestyle property with privacy and a landmark in the area. The property, with a lawn running down to an estuary, has two homes on it and has been in the family for 40 years.

255 Point Wells Road, Point Wells

“You can launch boats straight off the property, you can fish from off the pontoon, everything is waterfront,” says Linda.

The Premium agent says she has a steady trickle of properties coming on and is continuing to do appraisals.

The great advantage of coastal Matakana is it’s not far from Auckland, says Linda.

“What people have found since Covid is they don’t want to be in the city, they want more of a lifestyle and that’s what this region offers,” says Linda.

Matakana Coast is in the magic zone

The way Harcourts agent Jeneen Binstead sees it, the Matakana Coast is in the magic zone in terms of its connectivity to Auckland.

“It’s Auckland’s playground,” she says. And this relationship is only going to improve with the new motorway connection scheduled for the end of next year.

Jeneen says there’s lots of diversity of housing in the area, from old school coastal to more modern, it suits a lot of budgets.

Each town has a unique identity from Scotts Landing, which is old world coastal New Zealand, to upmarket, contemporary, Omaha.

The Harcourts agent warns, gone are the days when you sold in Auckland and retired with the several hundred thousand dollar difference in your pocket.

“The reason our prices are continuing to grow is they have landlocked areas like Sandspit where there won’t be any more subdivisions,” she says.

The cluster of towns on the Matakana Coast

There seems to have been a realisation about the lifestyle the Matakana coast has to offer. And a special housing project can help introduce buyers to an area they might not have thought of before.

People are coming to Snells Beach especially to see the Boathouse Bay project, says Megan Keating, the housing development’s sales manager.

The creation of Avant Group’s Mat Peters and architect Ken Crosson, known for their Kōtuitui development in Manukau, Boathouse Bay is a group of 33 boathouse-themed homes right on the beachfront.

Boathouse Bay development

With just five homes left out of 33, (one completed, four off plan), the three bedroom, two bathroom homes remaining, priced at $1.55 million, look out to sea and are 123 sq m.

“Those who have bought, like them because they’re unique, they’re on a private lane and they like their proximity to the water,” says Megan.

The bulk of owners tend to be in their 40s, although a young family has just moved in, and there are three artists in residence.

“Some will commute, some will work from home and some are retired. Snells Beach is three quarters of an hour from Auckland, says Megan.

The developer has been intent on forming a real community at the homes, she says.

“His focus was that it would be a lovely community where people would be able to have their own places but would spend time together. All of the residents have embraced this, they’re a fantastic bunch of people and very welcoming to newcomers,” she says.