Housing NZ Corp subsidiary HLC (2017) Ltd – the former Hobsonville Land Co Ltd – will raise its price cap for Axis Series “affordable” homes at Hobsonville Point from $550,000 to $650,000 on Saturday, 1 July, and will adjust income caps to align with KiwiSaver HomeStart grants.
Axis Series sections are smaller to keep the cost down, but the homes contain features such as double-glazing, extra insulation, rainwater capture and a weather-tight warranty.
HLC chief executive Chris Aiken said on Friday the income cap for individual buyers of Axis Series homes would come down on Saturday from $120,000 to $85,000 to be consistent with the HomeStart grant criteria. The income cap for couples (or 2 or more purchasers) will rise from $120,000/year to $130,000/year.
Anyone already approved under the old criteria will be unaffected.
Mr Aiken said Housing NZ would also take over the application & ballot process for Axis Series homes, although buyers of these homes would still buy them directly from the builders: “As the administrator of HomeStart, it makes sense for Housing NZ to also manage applications & approvals for Axis Series homes. This move will enable us to scale up the scheme as needed, as more new housing comes on stream across Auckland.”
Mr Aiken said a driver for raising the price cap for couples was to allow for more 2- & 3-bedroom homes to be delivered as Axis Series homes: “Rising construction costs have made it harder for our builders to deliver these homes under our current cap, and we risked losing diversity in our new stock as builders reduced home size to deliver within the price cap.”
HLC introduced Axis Series homes to its Hobsonville Point development before the launch of HomeStart, and Mr Aiken said it made sense to align this pricing with both HomeStart and the Government’s Welcome Home Loan criteria as many bidders for Axis Series homes were using these other services.
When the Government announced “affordable” price ranges in 2012, 10% of the houses were to be priced up to $400,000. Another 10% were to be priced between $400-485,000, 5% up to $450,000, 5% above.
The price caps were raised by $50-60,000 in May 2015, but 10% of homes were still to be built for $485,000 or less.
With the Axis price cap set at $650,000, at least 5% of homes will still be at or below $550,000 and at least 10% will be at or below $600,000.
Mr Aiken said that, as at 31 May, 422 Axis Series homes had been sold at Hobsonville Point: “We’re delighted with the market response, and pleased that our builder partners have applied such innovation & skill to ensure a high quality product even at more accessible price points.
“We know Axis has fostered new thinking in the affordable segment of the market with many builders, having developed techniques & approaches at Hobsonville Point, able to apply these more widely across their commercial building portfolio.”
26 March 2017: Hobsonville Land becomes HLC
14 June 2015: Hobsonville Pt housing programme advanced, cheaper range ratio lifted
6 May 2015: Hobsonville Pt affordable brackets raised $50-65,000
19 March 2014: Hobsonville test lab points way to more housing innovation
19 November 2012: $485,000 top price for 20% of Hobsonville Pt housing
30 September 2009: Regional council approves urban limit shift days before first sod turned on Hobsonville development
8 June 2008: Comprehensive development plan for Hobsonville lodged
23 May 2008: Budget promotes Hobsonville project & separate affordability schemes
Attribution: Company release.