Today, we’ve launched the new RCG Development Tracker page – up and running now, so take a look. The aim is for this to be the most comprehensive source of public data on developments in New Zealand, updated every month. It covers apartments and terraces, as well as hotel, retail, office and retirement village projects. In this post, though, I’ll just look at the residential sector.

You only have to look around Auckland to see that there’s a lot of development activity happening at the moment. Some projects, like the Turing Building, have been completed and residents are now settling in (and the much larger Sugartree Prima building isn’t far behind). Cranes are up for Urba Residences, The Boutique and more, and piling is going in at 88 Broadway. A sales office is currently being built at Wynyard Quarter, for apartments there.

There are many more apartments and terraces being planned, or considered, and the Auckland Council hopes to get thousands more in its Special Housing Areas. All up, we’re now tracking more than 28,000 units in Auckland. That’s just for apartment and terrace-led developments – we won’t be covering traditional subdivisions here.

However, it’s important to give this some context. Some of the projects currently being proposed won’t ever be built; developers will go under, pre-sales won’t be as high as expected, or ideas will be shelved to wait for more favourable conditions. There are already a few projects that seem to have dropped off the radar, although they’ve been replaced with others.

As such, it’s useful to look at building consent statistics. These give us a better idea of how much building will actually take place in the near future. Take apartments, for example: the building consent figures in 2014 were the highest since 2005, and this year seems likely to go even higher.

Auckland Apartment Consents

Stats like this show that it’s a busy summer for builders around Auckland and New Zealand, with a large number of projects on the go.

There’s more to come, too: 2,462 apartments and terraces are currently under construction, and there’s about the same number again which are being sold or marketed.

Development pie chart

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21 comments

  1. What will be interesting to track through this next round of apartment development is how many “middle range” units are built. It seems the backlash against the shoebox apartments of 10 years ago has been to turn most new apartment buildings into being super expensive.

    1. yes there’s that as well as a host of council-imposed regulations which have made apartments more expensive, e.g. minimum floor area, minimum balcony size etc, which have effectively regulated affordable apartments out of the market.

  2. John are you aware of a figure for the average occupancy of Auckland apartments? Just looking on the Tracker and it helpfully tells me that the three new apartment developments I mention in this post, http://greaterakl.wpengine.com/2015/02/02/celebrating-recent-auckland-cycling-and-walking-projects/ are bringing 353 additional apartments to the area, and am wondering if there’s a rough rule of thumb for how many additional residents that is likely to involve? Each block has a range of dwelling sizes but we can’t assume how many people will occupy them.

    Conservatively we could at least assume a couple in each?, so 700 new souls, but then as these are all larger multi bedroom apts, and these are not ‘shoe-box’ student flats, so perhaps up to 3x; 1000? Other than waiting for the next census; Waddayareckon?

    Either way 700-1000 people are a handy economic and social force to add to an area, especially as their dwellings take up very little land, and they are all within walking/cycling/Transit distance to everything. How much ruined farmland would these people require if sprawling out over the countryside each with their car and its little house and roads? And how much additional driving for even the simplest task?

    1. Having lived in a few midrange apartment buildings I would say the occupancies would still sit around two people per apartment. In this sector you don’t have the pressures of students to cram themselves in to save money, so it’s “normal” people wanting a normal amount of space in their home.

    2. Yup, you would be sitting at two residents per household on average, or a little higher. The average for the CBD is just under 2.2. The apartment buildings up around Hopetoun seem to have quite a lot of good sized two-bedroom places, so there should be a few families with kids, but presumably also a fair few empty nesters. Maybe it’ll get up around 2.3, 2.4 on maturity?

          1. Oh dear THAT intersection needs some serious COIN spent on it. After that it is a 7-10 minute walk to Manukau Station down Manukau Station Road (add another 4 minutes for the extra 4 sets of lights if they play go slow

  3. This really highlights how much development is happening in and around the city centre. Obviously developers are responding to a lot of desire to live in the area

    1. The Google interface should be temporary – we’re planning to move back to Mapbox, hopefully in time for the next update in early March.

      1. Ah great – good to know! I think there are huge opportunities for using OpenStreetMap/Mapbox data in the campaign for better transport and urban design. Having good map data which is free to use is an important component of any campaign I think!

          1. Well, in my view, Google has expanded to cover an alarming number of online services and has its fingers in too many of our virtual pies. There are some big privacy concerns when large corporations start to control so many services.

            Looking more specifically at Google Maps, while it’s a great service, there are some pretty compelling reasons why we shouldn’t rely on a for-profit company for our mapping needs. Fundamentally, it’s about control, and if Google is controlling your maps then you don’t have full control over these important tools.

            OpenStreetMap (like Wikipedia for maps) is I think a much less evil alternative. This is a good peice about it: http://blog.emacsen.net/blog/2014/01/04/why-the-world-needs-openstreetmap/

            Hope that answers your question!

  4. Should the tracker also eventually include institutional developments? E.g. the new science building at UoA or their Newmarket Campus, new high schools etc.

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