Happily for home-owners, most properties here have sea views. By the beachfront, a group of character cottages that started life as early-1900s holiday baches have survived a century and typically been lovingly extended and renovated. The newer, hilly Onepoto neighbourhood to the east, is typical 1970s-style suburbia, with largely weatherboard-clad family bungalows and split-level homes with basement garages on tidy, easy-care sections. In both Onepoto with its elevated views, and by the beach in the middle of town, you'll also find larger, architecturally-designed early-2000s homes with open-plan living, three to four bedrooms, and lots of glass to take advantage of these views.
As well as 568 current state houses, Titahi Bay has a strong contingent of former "staties" sold by government landlord Housing New Zealand and now in private hands. Built from the 1950s, many are common-or-garden Kiwi state houses: boxy weatherboard or brick-clad buildings with two or three bedrooms. A defining architectural feature of the bay's southern neighbourhood is the so-called Austrian State Houses. Solid and durable with distinctive covered porches, these 500 homes were manufactured and pre-cut in Austria and imported, along with 194 Austrian tradesmen, to help solve the 1950s housing shortage. Many of these have been extensively renovated and modified; others are do-ups and family homes-in-the-making. There are also a few one-bedroom flats and bedsits.
Across Titahi Bay, there's plenty of room for the children to play tag and hide-and-seek out back, given that most sections are comparatively large (many are 800-900 square metres), which has paved the way for some infill housing and likely more to come.