Papamoa is the suburb of choice for the Western Bay's first-home buyers.
Figures provided to the Bay of Plenty Times by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) show Papamoa has recorded the highest property sales numbers over the August to October period for the past three years.
With 138 sales over the period this year, Papamoa almost doubled the number of sales in Mount Maunganui (71) and more than quadrupled the number of sales in Matua (31).
When the sales figures are weighed against the number of properties in each suburb, Papamoa still comes up with the highest percentage of 1.99 per cent.
Sales in Greerton have increased by 1.45 per cent when compared against the number of properties while sales in The Avenues have fallen the most and sit at 0.622 per cent.
John O'Donnell of LJ Hooker said there were a number of reasons behind a suburb's popularity.
"The first thing is, and this has been going on for two or three years, the bottom of the market is where a lot of the sales are your $400,000 properties. First home buyers have been the main buyers."
Low interest rates and high rental prices have helped many young people make the decision to get into the property market, Mr O'Donnell said.
Many property owners are charging $300-$400 rent a week which is similar to the mortgage repayments of most first home owners.
Managing director of Advantage Realty Simon Martin put Papamoa's popularity down to the new facilities such as Pak'n Save and Papamoa College which have recently been built there.
"We're building a new office in Papamoa because we see Papamoa as a huge growth area," he said.
"In Papamoa you do have from one end of the scale to the other. You have the absolute beachfront properties, you have the first home buyers, you have property developers, you have families. That's unique in itself."
But he warned against assuming that Papamoa was the most popular suburb in Tauranga just because it has a higher percentage of sales.
He said the suburbs with the least sales could be the most popular as no one wanted to sell.
Realty Services chief executive Ross Stanaway agreed there was two sides to high sales figures.
"It could mean there's more buyer interest, but it could mean there's more people wanting to sell in that area." He said changes in family size and stages of life were the main drivers of real estate sales.
Favourable conditions for first home buyers had driven the increase in sales numbers for suburbs like Brookfield/Bellevue and Greerton, he said.
"Greerton has been an area where there's been some very good value for money homes. Investors and first-home buyers have seen that and that's probably driven a number of the sales there."
Value usually follows volume, Mr Stanway said.
"The mere fact that there's more volume there means the demand is higher - and that in itself starts to drive value."
The decrease in sales in the Avenues was mainly due to a lack of new stock, he said. "There's very little opportunity for new development there, most of the infill has already occurred so you've got a reasonably static supply, whereas if you looked at Bethlehem or Papamoa the supply side has increased."