Archive | Residential

Residential market gets lift, but Barfoots chief adds price caution

Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said yesterday residential sales, prices & listings all rose in October.

“In comparison with where the market has been for the past 9 months, October trading was extremely active,” he said. “Spring arrived, and the market came alive.

“The average sales price for the month, at $937,277, was the highest this year and up 1.5% on the average for the previous 3 months.

“The same trend is there with the median price, which at $860,000 for the month was also the highest it has been this year (along with that for March) and 3.9% higher than the average for the previous 3 months.

“In part, the increase can be attributed to the traditional upturn that comes with spring, but there was also a newfound confidence that prices were not going to retreat.”

Mr Thompson said the 884 sales for the month were the highest for October in 3 years, available property for sale the highest in 6 years, and new listings the highest for 19 months.

11% of sales were for under $500,000, 32% between $1-2 million, 5% over $2 million.

Despite all that extra life in the market, Mr Thompson cautioned: “The revival of the Auckland housing market is not a signal that the market is ready for another burst of rising prices. What it does signal is that residential property is set for strong trading through to Christmas.

“Contrastingly, the rural & lifestyle market experienced a quiet month’s trading. Prices remained steady with strong listing numbers, particularly in Orewa & Pukekohe.”

Barfoots’ October residential statistics:

Attribution: Agency release.

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Housing NZ takes Mt Albert townhouse land to market

20 residential sections in 5 development blocks in Mt Albert have been put on the market with resource consents in place, 4½ years after Housing NZ was granted special housing area status for a total 8094m².

The 5 blocks at 33 Asquith Avenue, corner of Burch St, Mt Albert, have been put up for tender through Bayleys, closing on Wednesday 21 November.

Each block contains 2-5 sections and they all have resource consents for 4-bedroom townhouses. They’re being offered individually, as one super-block or in any combination of lots. Housing NZ will continue to oversee construction.

Special housing areas were introduced in 2013 through an agreement between then-Housing Minister Nick Smith & Auckland Council. This one had 3 blocks of flats housing boarders at the nearby Mt Albert Grammar School, which were demolished in February 2015.

Housing NZ named the builders for a 40-townhouse project on the land in November 2017 – 20 of them designated one-bedroom units for its tenants and the other 40 to be sold on the open market.

It’s the open-market part that’s up for sale.

Earlier story:
9 May 2014: Third tranche of special housing areas unveiled
Accord tranche 3 adds 41 special housing areas

Attribution: Agency release.

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Parliament signs off key money bill

The Residential Tenancies (Prohibiting Letting Fees) Amendment Bill went through Parliament’s third reading stage on Wednesday, and now awaits royal assent.

The bill amends the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 to prohibit the charging of a letting fee, or any other fee charged to a tenant, in respect of charges for services rendered by a letting agent, solicitor, or any person in relation to a tenancy.

It doesn’t apply to existing letting fees – or key money.

The Real Estate Institute warned that the prohibition might lead to an increase in rental prices in the long run.

The institute said in its submission to the select committee that, while the ban would reduce fees upfront, “which contradicts the purpose of the ban, which is to reduce costs and improve fairness for tenants”.

Institute chief executive Bindi Norwell added: “Additionally, our concern is that it may make tenants with shorter-term tenancy requirements, such as students or seasonal workers, less attractive to landlords, making it harder for them to obtain rental accommodation.

“We’ve said this before, but we think a better way to look after renters is to regulate the property management industry rather than focusing on smaller issues such as banning letting fees. We don’t want New Zealand to continue to be an outlier – instead we need to follow the good example set by countries including Australia, the UK, Republic of Ireland, the US & Canada, and ensure that our property market is regulated. This is one of the key ways we can ensure that we’re improving the lives of renters.”

Along with that suggestion, she listed the numerous other legislative changes facing landlords:

    • Removing insulation grants and instead making them available only to low-income families
    • Extending the notice period a landlord must give from 42 days to 90 days
    • Introducing the Healthy Homes legislation, which comes into force on 1 July 2019, providing for landlords to face a $4000 fine if they don’t meet the requirements on time – “yet there is still no clarity on what is required under this legislation, giving landlords less than a year to meet the new requirement”
    • Ending the cancellation of tenancies without cause, and
    • Limiting rent increases to once a year.

Attribution: Parliament, institute release.

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Barfoot figures show residential rent rises slowing

Real estate agency & property manager Barfoot & Thompson said yesterday its latest data showed the trend of slower-paced residential rental rises in Auckland continued through the third quarter.

Barfoot’s manages over 16,500 properties in Auckland. Director Kiri Barfoot said the average weekly rent for a 3-bedroom home cost just 3.2% more during the September quarter than it did a year earlier.

“This represents a real cost increase of around $17/week compared to last year. The increase is $2 lower than last quarter and is now the lowest average weekly rent rise that we have observed in well over 2 years.”

The average weekly rent rise for all properties (all bedroom sizes & eligible suburbs) was also lower than the historical norm, up 3.5% year-on-year to $563. This compared to earlier quarterly increases of as much as 4.8%.

Ms Barfoot said central Auckland had the biggest rise due primarily to a growing number of large luxury apartments pulling in higher weekly rents, while demand in West Auckland saw it come in second place with a year-on-year increase just over 5% for the quarter.

The smallest average rises were for homes in Pakuranga & Howick, up 2.2%, and for homes with 5 or more bedrooms, up 2.1%.

Yields rising

Meanwhile, Ms Barfoot said gross rental yields across the city indicated many landlords would be starting to enjoy a rebound in rental returns, despite the slower pace of rent rises: “More than two-thirds of the Auckland suburbs we reviewed this quarter showed an increase in gross yield over the same period last year, with all but a handful sitting above 3% return.

“This follows a period of relatively flat gross yields during 2016 & 2017, and declining yields prior to that, so landlords will be relieved to be making up some lost ground.”

She says this, coupled with low interest rates & a desire to keep properties occupied with good tenants, could be contributing to landlords’ reluctance to raise rents further.

Average weekly rent received in Auckland, Quarter 3 (July-September) 2018 vs same period 2017:

Number of bedrooms % change Q217 v Q218
1 2 3 4 5+ Total
Central Auckland $408 $570 $1076 $496 5.46%
Central suburbs $379 $500 $635 $813 $1,049 $607 3.85%
Eastern suburbs $379 $513 $665 $907 $1,062 $645 2.80%
Franklin/Manukau rural $308 $366 $447 $561 $654 $470 4.70%
North Shore $397 $478 $595 $738 $923 $616 3.99%
Pakuranga/Howick $346 $455 $557 $676 $785 $589 2.16%
Rodney $345 $438 $534 $665 $817 $557 3.40%
South Auckland $310 $408 $499 $597 $724 $497 3.56%
West Auckland $331 $425 $513 $621 $752 $516 5.05%
Auckland $370 $469 $559 $697 $859 $563 3.51%
% change Q217 v Q218 3.08% 4.01% 3.17% 2.64% 2.11% 3.51%

Table source: Barfoot & Thompson averages for managed tenancies as at end of each month in quarter. Categories with fewer than 4 tenancies aren’t included.

Based on statistics from about 16,000 Auckland rental properties managed by Barfoot & Thompson. This includes over 6700 3-bedroom properties, which have been chosen as the standard example to provide the best insight into the ‘typical’ weekly rental price in Auckland.

Gross yields: Average annualised rental income divided by median sale price within the same area. Only suburbs with sufficient sales data for the period were reviewed.

Attribution: Agency release.

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QV index shows a mix of house value moves in Auckland, still rising elsewhere

The expectation of large windfall gains from housing is gone and, for most of the Auckland region, the small gains made over the last year are below the rate of inflation.

Quotable Value Ltd, in its monthly price index out today, noted that “spring has injected energy into the market”, “first-homebuyers continue to be a major force across many parts of New Zealand”, and “nationwide residential property values have increased steadily over the past year”.

On the reverse, “supply still remains low, which is keeping values at or near their current levels”, “high-value areas are generally seeing a slowdown in the rate of growth as affordability constraints take effect”, and “in many cases, sellers are refusing to sell below their expectations, which is keeping values either at or slightly below their current levels”.

According to the website run by the Real Estate Institute, new listings in Auckland are up 20.1% on a year ago, 14.6% nationally, the average asking price in Auckland is down 1.3% from a year ago, 2.1% nationally, and it’s taking longer to sell.

QV’s index showing value movements in the last quarter presents a mix around Auckland – small rises in the cheapest area of the North Shore, Waitakere, the central isthmus, eastern & central Manukau, and Franklin, otherwise down.

Around the country, the falls in the last 3 months are far less common as catchup continues outside Auckland.

QV’s national index shows a 5.4% gain over 12 months, 1% over 3 months. Auckland rose 1.1% over the year but fell 0.3% over the quarter.

Below, the dollar figure is the average value for October. The first percentage is for the 3 months to October, the second is for the last 12 months (QV switches those around in its tables) and the third is the change since the 2007 peak. For Auckland, QV still works on the old council boundaries (councils marked in bold); Kaipara & the Hauraki Gulf Islands, as usual, have low counts:

Auckland region, $1,049,689, -0.3%, 1.1%, 92.1%
Rodney, $941,102, -0.6%, 0.8%, 60.4%
North, $963,008, -0.4%, 0.9%, 60.3%
Hibiscus Coast, $920,014, -0.8%, 0.7%, 56.6%
North Shore, $1,217,762, -0.5%, 1.4%, 88.7%
Coastal, $1,394,276, -0.4%, 2.3%, 85.0%
Onewa, $975,547, 0.3%, -0.6%, 96.7%
North Harbour, $1,184,756, -1.5%, 1.4%, 95.0%
Waitakere, $828,326, 0.5%, 1.2%, 95.4%
Auckland City, $1,238,448, -0.6%, 1.2%, 98.9%
Central, $1,087,510, 0.5%, 0.7%, 91.0%
East, $1,560,581, -0.8%, 1.7%, 95.8%
South, $1,097,597, -0.9%, 0.6%, 103.9%
Islands, $1,146,730, -1.9%, 2.9%, 79.4%
Manukau, $903,386, 0.4%, 1.1%, 97.4%
East, $1,157,941, 0.6%, 0.6%, 94.3%
Central, $703,942, 0.8%, 2.0%, 87.3%
North-west, $777,828, -0.3%, 1.8%, 110.5%
Papakura, $700,919, -0.6%, 2.4%, 94.8%
Franklin, $670,991, 0.9%, 0.8%, 69.6%

Northern border, down country & nationally:

Whangarei, $551,549, 3.6%, 11.3%, 39.2%
Kaipara, $544,364, 0.8%, 7.8%, 37.2%
Waikato, $488,001, 3.3%, 6.7, 61.2%
Hamilton, $573,757, 2.8%, 5.7%, 58.7%
Tauranga, $709,746, 1.2%, 3.3%, 47.4%
Gisborne, $322,480, 3.0%, 9.8%, 8.5%
Wellington region, $672,701, 2.9%, 10.2%, 47.6%
Christchurch, $494,082, -0.3%, 0.7%, 30.2%
Queenstown Lakes, $1,180,082, 1.1%, 8.0%, 71.6%
Dunedin, $422,674, 2.8%, 10.5%, 47.7%
Invercargill, $280,275, 4.9%, 13.1%, 27.1%
Total NZ, $681,802, 1.0%, 5.4%, 64.5%

Attribution: QV,

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Updated: Construction starts on next north-western subdivision, West Hills

Published 17 October 2018, clarified 18 October 2018:
Half a kilometre west of the Westgate & NorthWest retail & business centres at the top of Auckland’s North-western Motorway, Universal Homes Ltd has started work on the first block of 7 units in its next subdivision, West Hills, which will ultimately yield about 1200 homes.

The 41ha development is unusual because it allows construction to proceed alongside the provision of infrastructure, a consent provision which vice-general manager Andrew Crosby reckons will save about 9-10 months in getting the project to market.

Image above: West Hills, where construction has started as infrastructure works continue.

Clarification on pricing:

On Wednesday morning I wrote: “The first batch of 7 terrace houses will include 4 56m² one-bedroom units without a garage, priced at the bottom of the Universal scale, about $5000/m², which will see them marketed for $285,000.”

Universal told me later in the day the 4 56m² one-bedroom units would come later in stage 1, haven’t had their prices set yet, but they would exceed $285,000.

In the first batch of 7, one with a floor area of 82.5m² has 2 bedrooms and the rest have 3 bedrooms.

The table below sets out prices for the first 7 homes released. I’ve added a column to show the range of prices/m², without distinguishing between living & garage space:

West Hills pricing, first batch of 7 homes:
Lot Beds Price Floor area*  Price/m²
1 3 $849,000 131 $6,481
2 2 $695,000 82.5 $8,424
3 3 $851,000 131 $6,496
4 3 $799,000 113.2 $7,058
5 3 $799,000 113.2 $7,058
6 3 $845,000 131.8 $6,411
7 3 $850,000 131.8 $6,449
* Floor area including garage where applicable

But most of West Hills won’t be in the sub-$600,000 “affordable” category, although they’ll come in comfortably below much of the $1 million-plus construction at nearby Hobsonville Point – the standard homes of 2-4 bedrooms will be priced between $695-851,000.

Those prices include rises in Auckland Council development contributions & water service charges.

“For the level of quality which we want – which is not super-luxury – this is as affordable as a good builder can make it,” Mr Crosby said.

Universal Homes vice-general manager Andrew Crosby onsite at West Hills, with concurrent drainage & earthworks & construction underway behind him.

Universal’s West Hills block off Fred Taylor Drive will form about 10% of the Redhills special housing area precinct, land held by a number of developers and all rezoned under the new Auckland unitary plan to allow for a mix of building.

Mr Crosby expects Universal will take about 8 years to build out its project, providing some standalone homes but with an increasing focus on terraces & duplexes, including about 90 one-bedroom units but dominated by 2-bedroom homes.

Both Mr Crosby & sales manager Mike Pearce attribute much of the improvement in what buyers will get to Universal’s participation in the development of Hobsonville Point, including the Axis energy-efficiency programme led by Government company HLC (2017) Ltd (the former Hobsonville Land Co).

Mr Pearce: “The high quality of urban design, energy efficiency & value-for-money pricing of the homes is due to Universal’s extensive experience at Hobsonville Point with urban designers Isthmus, a key partner at Hobsonville Point, leading the masterplanning, along with Avery Team Architects & Construkt Architects.

“The community & environmental dimensions are a major emphasis in the planning of West Hills, with the vision for the development described as green city living.”

Hobsonville Point led the way towards intensification, though generally not multi-level apartment projects (that said, a multi-level project there is up for hearing today).

“Hobsonville Point changed the thought that you’d have a standalone 5 years ago, but it took about 3 years to start building apartments,” Mr Crosby said.

Now, at West Hills, terraces & apartments are the first structures to go up, and terraces & duplexes form about 80% of Universal’s overall business.

For inter-tenancy walls, Universal uses Speedwall, a lightweight, quake-resistant & fire-resistant slab produced onsite.

Site works to break up the intensity include opening up watercourses for streams, wetland areas, a 5000m² pocket park, playgrounds (smaller ones vested in the owners’ society) & walkways.

My biggest question about the recent expansion of suburban housing developments – and greenfield plans further out on the fringe – is the access to shops & amenities. West Hills answers that question with its proximity to Westgate & Northwest.

The first homes at West Hills will be completed early next year, and the first stage will contain 94 homes.

Attribution: Site visit, company releases.

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Classic Homes chief challenges minister: Clear the red tape

Residential developer & builder Peter Cooney issued a challenge today to Housing & Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford: “Clear the red tape and you will get 100,000 houses.”

Mr Cooney, of Mt Maunganui, heads Classic Builders Group Ltd, Classic Developments Ltd & scores of project-specific companies.

The group, New Zealand’s second largest homebuilder, has built 5500 houses and has 4000 lots & units in various stages of development now.

In a paper he wrote in August, released today, Mr Cooney targeted the council consent process – and the people who manage it – as the main obstacle in lifting the construction rate.

I think you have to go back a stage, to the reasons for those obstacles to quick processing being put in place, to establish a clear path to faster construction.

In one word, you can see a painful reason for risk aversion: leaks.

It’s a multi-million-dollar expense & cause of great anguish that ought not to have occurred. That’s not hindsight talking, it’s a case of not doing the job properly first time round – assessing the materials, testing the designs, not skipping the safeguards.

Mr Cooney doesn’t confront that bogey in his paper, but he does raise a number of other points that need considering, and action.

His key points:

  • Financiers want to invest, developers don’t have a skills shortage
  • Builders can build – if they can get through ever more layers of compliance
  • The minister can slash the bureaucratic impediments
  • Decision-makers need to have had skin in the game
  • He suggests the minister appoint housing czars to clear away barriers, and to have a direct line to the minister
  • Collaborative governance style is required
  • Governments don’t develop housing, developers do
  • The notion that relocatable housing will solve the housing shortage is a flawed concept
  • The nation needs a circuit-breaker
  • Populate the new Ministry of Housing & Urban Development with people who have commercial development & housing experience, and
  • Match infrastructure requirements & zone changes to housing needs – ahead of time.

Who does develop housing?

One of those points is debatable – Who develops housing?

Governments & councils in many countries have long histories of developing housing. The difference here, now, is the freedom to set up in business. Even so, building companies rely on tradespeople, and in this country it’s the Government that ensures a sufficient supply by providing an appropriate education system.

Extraordinarily, knowing that years of high immigration must increase the need for more tradespeople, the mandarins of government managed not to do the numbers.
In his paper, Mr Cooney said Housing & Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford “must cut through the ponderous pace & obstruction by council planners if he wants to solve the housing shortage”.

He said: “There is no shortage of financiers wanting to invest in New Zealand housing developments. There is no shortage of skill within development companies. Building companies can build the houses, but no one can get on with the job because council consent processes with ever more layers of compliance & cost prevent developers from getting started.

“Until we have a minister who is prepared to cut away the burgeoning layers of bureaucratic nonsense, then we are going to have a housing shortage and that pushes house prices up and creates crisis in our communities.”

Council planners too slow

Mr Cooney said councils weren’t freeing land for development quickly enough, and new developments were being deluged with requests for information by “council planners that don’t want to take the risk of making decisions”.

His local example: Tauranga

“If we consider Tauranga, for example, land runs out next year. There is no more land zoned for development so new house building stops. That means electricians, plumbers, bricklayers will all have to stop. It will impact carpet sales, furniture sales, lighting, drapes, paint, paving & anything else that is part of putting together a new home. The multiplier effects of development & construction are woven into our local economies & employment.
“It is enough now. It must end. We can’t advance as a nation and provide one of the basics of life, housing, if there is so much delay in getting good housing produced. If everything goes well it will take 4-5 years to get a proposed development through council processes. It can take much longer than that.”

He said the Government’s thinking that finance is the problem behind the housing crisis was a fallacy.   He argues Government is working on a problem that isn’t there and ignoring the one that every builder and developer is pulling their hair out trying to deal with.

Hard to justify investing

“We can raise as much capital as we need, and we don’t require Government help with that.  There are many financiers that would like to be part of the New Zealand housing market, but they struggle to justify investing when they can’t be sure how long a development they might back is going to take to get through all the council processes. The root of the problem with speed to market is the ever-increasing mountains of red tape and slow council decision-making or non-decision-making.”

Mr Cooney’s solution is to ensure the new Ministry of Housing & Urban Development is staffed with people who have actually developed housing and actually built houses.

“We have too many people in key decision-making positions in those key ministries without any idea of how to develop housing. They might have had long careers in government and understand the ‘machinery of government’ but know nothing about what makes housing tick. We need to change that.”

He suggests appointing regional housing czars with a direct line to the minister, who would have the power to clear away bureaucratic barriers: “It would be their job to cut away useless time-wasting council process and put a spotlight on any situation where barriers were being created for spurious reasons.

“Instead of consent officers seeing their job as hindering & slowing developers, we need a more collaborative style of governance where central government, local government & private housing providers work together on agreed goals that work for all parties. It can be done, it just takes leadership from the top and a required change in the way consent officers are tasked.”

Peter Cooney’s paper: CLAS paper Peter Cooney commentary 150818

Attribution: Company release.

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Listings way up but prices hold, says Barfoots chief

Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said this week the average price for the agency’s home sales in September was marginally up on August, while the median was marginally down.

New listings were up 28.4% on August and 21% on last September, but Mr Thompson said the increased availability of stock had no impact on price stability.

The average price was up $6000 on the previous 3 months at $929,757 and the median was up $15,000 at $835,000: “The price point at which vendors & buyers are agreeing has barely moved in the past 9 months. The number of property sales in September, at 722, was modest but vendors & buyers will take confidence in the stability of the prices achieved, and this will assist sales numbers as we advance into spring.

“The standout feature of the month’s data was the high number of new listings, which at 1709 was the second highest ever for a September and more than 20% higher than at the same time last year. It is more than 42% higher than the monthly average for the previous 3 months.

“The high number of new listings significantly increased available choice during the month and, at month end, the number of properties on our books was 4515. You need to go back 7 years to find a September when available listings were higher.

“More than 30 percent of all the sales in the month were of properties that fetched a sales price of more than $1 million, with 3% of that number selling for $2 million or more.

“Properties with a sales price of less than $500,000 accounted for 9% of all sales.”

Mr Thompson said sales of lifestyle properties increased markedly north & south of Auckland, at an average $1.36 million.

September August   Previous 3 months, average   September 2017  
Average price  
$929,757   $928,266






Median price  
$835,000   $840,000






722   795







New listings  








Month-end available stock  
4515   4022







Attribution: Agency release.

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Home value falls more common

Falls in residential property values became more common both in Auckland & nationally over the last 3 months, according to Quotable Value Ltd’s monthly statistics. The annual gain in Auckland turned into a decline when adjusted for inflation.

Around Auckland, the only gains in the last 3 months were in Onewa on the North Shore (0.6%) & Franklin (1.2%). Central Manukau was unchanged, the region & all other areas within it dipped.

In just a few areas the dip extended to 12 months – the central isthmus by 0.8% over 12 months, 2.5% over the last 3 months; the Hibiscus Coast by 0.5% over 12 months, 0.1% over 3 months; and in one of the region’s most expensive areas, Manukau’s eastern suburbs, by 0.5% over 12 months, 0.2% over the last 3 months.

QV’s index showed a 0.8% gain for Auckland over the last year, but a 0.7% decline when adjusted for inflation. Nationally, the 12-month gain was 4.6%, falling to 3.1% when adjusted for inflation.

Fringes getting transformed

QV general manager David Nagel said: “The onset of spring has seen a significant rise in listings, although quarterly value growth remains modest, with low supply & stable interest rates keeping values at their current levels.

“Despite slow quarterly growth, annual growth rates remain strong, particularly in areas where first-homebuyer activity is relatively high such as Porirua, Upper Hutt & Dunedin City, as well as many other smaller regional towns.”

“While market activity doesn’t appear dramatic on the surface, there is plenty happening behind the scenes. Investors & first-homebuyers continue to transform the makeup of more affordable areas on the outskirts of our city centres. Investors, in particular, are attracted to these areas due the higher yields attainable in the likes of the Hutt Valley & Porirua.”

“We continue to see increased demand for different types of property. Population growth coupled with affordability constraints is driving demand for semi-detached units & apartments in our main centres. With these market changes set to continue, I expect this trend will become increasingly relevant in future years.”

Below, the dollar figure is the average value for September. The first percentage is for the 3 months to September, the second is for the last 12 months (QV switches those around in its tables) and the third is the change since the 2007 peak. For Auckland, QV still works on the old council boundaries (councils marked in bold); Kaipara and the Hauraki Gulf Islands, as usual, have low counts:

Auckland region, $1,047,415, -0.7%, 0.8%, 91.7%
Rodney, $949,953, -0.6%, 1.1%, 62%
North, $968,436, -1.0%, 2.3%, 61.2%
Hibiscus Coast, $932,696, -0.1%, -0.5%, 58.8%
North Shore, $1,216,511, -0.8%, 1.8%, 88.5%
Coastal, $1,389,625, -0.9%, 1.9%, 84.4%
Onewa, $979,893, 0.6%, 1.9%, 97.6%
North Harbour, $1,182,468, -2.2%, 1.3%, 94.6%
Waitakere, $824,358, -0.2%, 1.0%, 94.4%
Auckland City, $1,234,458, -1.1%, 0.7%, 98.3%
Central, $1,070,764, -2.5%, -0.8%, 88.0%
East, $1,564,278, -0.3%, 2.1%, 96.3%
South, $1,099,591, -0.5%, 0.0%, 104.3%
Islands, $1,095,412, -5.4%, 0.6%, 71.4%
Manukau, $898,133, -0.5%, 0.0%, 96.2%
East, $1,152,518, -0.2%, -0.5%, 93.4%
Central, $699,180, 0.0%, 1.6%, 86.0%
North-west, $774,411, -0.9%, 0.3%, 109.6%
Papakura, $699,928, -0.4%, 3.1%, 94.6%
Franklin, $670,094, 1.2%, 1.1%, 69.4%

Northern border, down country & nationally:

Whangarei, $534,846, 1.1%, 6.8%, 35.0%
Kaipara, $543,311, 0.6%, 5.4%, 37.0%
Waikato, $478,200, -0.5%, 8.2%, 58.0%
Hamilton, $572,169, 2.4%, 4.7%, 58.3%
Tauranga, $709,339, 1.4%, 3.3%, 47.3%
Gisborne, $325,301, 5.1%, 103%, 9.4%
Wellington region, $664,418, 1.6%, 9.6%, 45.8%
Christchurch, $493,922, -0.2%, 0.5%, 30.2%
Queenstown Lakes, $1,169,834, -0.4%, 8.3%, 70.1%
Dunedin, $420,127, 2.4%, 10.4%, 46.8%
Invercargill, $277,379, 4.7%, 13.4%, 25.8%
Total NZ, $676,427, -0.6%, 4.6%, 63.2%

Attribution: QV tables & release.

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Roskill South: a small window on a growing regeneration programme

Published & corrected 10 September 2018 – 2 numbers transposed in original version

Housing NZ has completed the first homes in what will be its biggest regeneration project in Auckland, removing 3000 houses gradually in groups and building at least 8400 replacements in Mt Roskill over 10-15 years.

It again involves another Government subsidiary, HLC (2017) Ltd – the former Hobsonville Land Co, now with a wider role – as project manager. HLC is already undertaking that role in Auckland regeneration projects in Mangere & Northcote.

Image above: The Roskill South regeneration area.

It will also align with the KiwiBuild concept of developing communities of mixed ownership – about one-third each of state housing, KiwiBuild homes (state-developed, to become privately owned) & houses sold direct to the market.

Corrected: In Mt Roskill, the targets are 3000 each for new state houses and for the open market, 2400 for KiwiBuild customers. [State & KiwiBuild numbers transposed in original version].

Housing & Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford (pictured), onsite for an inspection yesterday, said the Roskill South segment of the overall Mt Roskill project was also likely to introduce the shared ownership concept, raised by former Roskill MP & housing minister Phil Goff when he campaigned for the Treasury benches in 1984, but rarely used since.

“I’m expecting to have more say on shared equity in a couple of months,” Mr Twyford said.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff.

Mr Goff, now Auckland’s mayor, was at yesterday’s walk-around, which started at a new 3-bedroom house on Freeland Avenue, celebrating completion of the first new homes in Roskill South. His involvement with the neighbourhood goes way back: “I used to play in this street when I was a 6-year-old,” he commented.

The key to the financial success of the regeneration projects is intensification in existing suburbs, in many cases – such as the replacement at 43 Freeland Avenue – providing 4 homes where there was one.

Remodelling the landscape

The second important factor, arising alongside intensification, is the revision of the landscape. What’s known as the Freeland Reserve is there because, when the subdivision was begun decades ago, spaces not conducive to construction were set aside as “drainage reserves”.

In the second stage of the Roskill South regeneration, the covered drain will be “daylighted” and will resume being a stream, regarded as better to deal with stormwater. Auckland Council will lead that task, as it has done at other stream daylighting exercises in various suburbs where new housing development is taking place, and overall project manager HLC will contribute $2.7 million to the upgrade cost.

Modernising the old tram route

The third factor is access. Freeland Avenue winds around the middle of a small, undulating precinct between the maunga (the volcanic mount of Puketapapa – Mt Roskill) in Winstone Park, with the Akarana golfcourse beside it, Richardson Rd at the southern edge of the precinct, and Dominion Rd running from the fringe of the city centre almost all the way to the Manukau Harbour, passing beside this precinct and ending at Waikowhai Park.

Auckland’s first light rail line is planned to run out from the city centre, down Dominion Rd, and continuing on to Auckland Airport at Mangere. It will pass within 300m of most of the housing in the Roskill South regeneration, and also run past the Housing NZ regeneration project which began in Mangere in July, upgrading public transport to big job centres at each end.

Financing rental housing

Mr Twyford briefly mentioned one avenue for financing the increase in rental housing, private sector investment funds. That is about to start happening, assuming the successful launch of the Haven Living fund by Kerry Hitchcock (see separate story to be posted on Wednesday).

Housing NZ, Auckland housing programmes
Mt Roskill development
Mt Roskill South development

Related story today:
First homes finished in Roskill South

Related stories, 16 July 2018:
Putting change in context
Robertson outlines focus shift from GDP measure to wellbeing
Demolition starts on Mangere regeneration project
Finance minister calls Productivity Commission in to examine local body funding

Attribution: Site visit, Housing NZ & HLC websites.

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