Tauranga retirement village consents have hit more than $100 million in just over one year - with some owners experiencing ''phenomenal growth'' and waiting lists.
Data from Priority One shows 176 consents were issued valued at $107.5m from August 2016 to August 2017 compared with 156 consents valued at $78m over the same time frames in 2016 and 67 consents worth $39.6m in 2015.
Retirement Villages Association executive director John Collyns said Tauranga had experienced spectacular growth which was likely to continue as the population aged.
''We know people are living longer, we know the oldest baby boomer is about 72, and we know the average age entry to a retirement village is people in their 70s so we will have another 30 years of reasonably sustained growth.''
The latest census data also revealed 17 per cent of people aged over 75 in the Bay of Plenty chose to live in a retirement home, the highest percentage in the country, he said.
Sanderson Group assistant general manager Brendon Russo said it had a ''phenomenal amount of growth'' in the past 12 months at Bethlehem Shores.
''We've been experiencing on average over two sales a week which follows on from an incredibly successful 2016 when more than 140 homes were sold in stage one.''
Work was also continuing on one of the largest and most luxurious club houses in New Zealand while retirees from Auckland, farmers and orchardists continued to drive demand, he said.
Claire Keen, manager of Althorp Village in Pyes Pa, said the retirement village had more than 80 people on a waiting list since completing construction of new garden apartments in March this year.
A Metlifecare spokeswoman said growth in the Bay of Plenty had meant an increase in demand for retirement living options.
It had two major projects in Tauranga including Somerville at Mount Maunganui which was nearing completion and included a 69-bed care home and 16 serviced apartments.
Meanwhile, Papamoa Beach Village would have 172 villas when construction was completed, and 109 had been built to date with 30 currently under construction.
Oceania Healthcare property general manager Mark Stockton said its $100m redevelopment of Melrose Retirement Village would include 209 retirement apartments, seven villas and 81 new care suites offering rest home and hospital care - and would be completed in five stages.
New Zealand Aged Care Association chief executive Simon Wallace said according to latest projections, the number of aged care residents in rest homes in Tauranga would increase by 41 per cent or more than 500 to 2026/27.
There were 1300 aged residential care beds in Tauranga, but without more care facilities and additions to supply, full capacity (defined in the sector as 95 per cent occupancy) would be reached in 2019, he said.
Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec said this growth was positive for the local economy.
He said people who were relocating to the Bay of Plenty area to move into retirement villages would be spending more and adding to the economy. As well there would be more building and construction jobs.
Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless said some Tauranga residents were downsizing into retirement villages which could provide more homes for younger families.
Love it here
Dell Mabin has lived in a retirement village for seven years and has seen the increase in demand for more villages first hand.
She and her husband Chip moved into their three-bedroom villa at Papamoa Beach Village in 2011 when there were only 30 residents, today there are 131. With construction under way, this number is set to grow further.
The demand for more retirement villages means more facilities are becoming available for residents which Mrs Mabin is delighted by.
"The swimming pool was a very big draw in for me," she said, and there is always something to do.
A new garden area has been constructed this year and allows residents to grow their fruit and vegetables, something Mrs Mabin is very passionate about.
She enjoys the lifestyle because she feels as though she is a part of a community but can also enjoy her privacy when she wants it.
"We are a very happy village."