The RCG Development Tracker has just been given its May update, as always featuring a number of new projects. I’ve also added Auckland’s rail network and stations – sorry, I really should have done this months ago – so it’s possible to see where developments are happening close to train stations. Next on the list, I should be adding in the Wellington rail network, figuring out a way to incorporate the Congestion Free Network and so on…

In terms of intensification around rail stations, it’s certainly not all quiet on the western front. There are a lot of projects underway or planned in inner west Auckland, with most of them pretty close to train stations. Note that this includes some Special Housing Areas which may not be actively underway at the moment.


More centrally, we’re now looking at a huge number of developments around the CBD, Grey Lynn, Eden Terrace, Parnell and other inner suburbs. Most of these places have great links to train stations – or they will when the City Rail Link is complete – and even if they don’t, they’re well connected with buses and other alternatives to driving.


On to building consents, which are an excellent indicator of what’s going to be happening in the next year or two. Statistics New Zealand have just given their data a massive overhaul, and they now give a lot more detail on the typology of new dwellings.

Auckland dwelling consents

This image shows that Auckland is almost at 8,000 consents a year – still well below the Auckland Plan targets, which are for an average of 10,000 a year over 2012-2022 and even higher after that. This supply still isn’t fast enough to meet demand, especially with migration running hot.

Also interesting is that consents for standalone houses have actually been pretty flat since 2013. In that year, 4,318 houses were consented. In the twelve months to March 2015, the figure was 4,628. I’m sure we’ll hear more about this in the MBIE’s monitoring of the Housing Accord, which I’ll try to write about next month.

Where there has been growth is in apartments, retirement village units, and the catch-all category of “townhouses, flats, units, and other dwellings”. That will be clearer in this next graph:

Auckland higher density consents

This shows a dramatic rise in apartment consents from late 2013 – although, to be fair, momentum seems to have trailed off there as well in the last year. There’s also been a jump in retirement village consents, and a steady rise for other units.

Based on what we’re seeing with the Development Tracker, I’d expect to see more apartments consented during the rest of this year, and more of the other kinds of units as well. Barring some kind of macroeconomic nasty, this should keep growing in the years to come.

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  1. Hm I’m not so sure if all that residential development in the south-west of the inner city is such a good thing. Stuart’s #24 is still painfully true:

    Look at the supermarkets nearby. The closest one, the Countdown on Victoria street is already completely overcrowded. I don’t see any purple dots in the area.

    A bit surprisingly for such a central area, it’s also hard to get on public transit. Look at the bus corridors — Fanshawe, Customs and Symonds street — go in a wide circle around this area. And the trains, same story, but worse. CRL will of course be a huge improvement, but that’s still a long while off. I don’t mind the walk, but it does add a lot of time to most PT trips. For instance it takes half an hour go get from here to Newmarket.

    A possible improvement on the shorter term is fixing Queen Street. The congestion + lack of bus lanes is now making both the red link bus and the airport bus useless.

    And don’t forget the traffic in the area… If you’re not a deep sleeper, forget about it.

    1. Are you talking about the upper Hobson/ Nelson area? It probably is a bit underserved for PT compared to the rest of the city centre (although still within say a 400m radius of good routes). It could get a bit closer to good links when the New Network comes in, e.g. It still won’t be quite that you can head out your door from Sugartree and hop straight on a bus, but this is still a lot more connectivity than most parts of Auckland, and there’s a lot within walking distance too!

      As for retail, there will be quite a bit in Sugartree, so if the demand is there retailers will set up shop. Lots of underused land up in that area as well…

      1. Yes, that area. If you’re at the radio NZ building on the corner of Cook and Hobson street, almost all PT itineraries you get to anywhere on the AT route planner start with a 10 to 15 minute walk. Indeed not a big problem since you can get most things in the central city.

        “Lots of underused land up in that area as well…” So true. At least there will be lots and lots of parking nearby if you’re in the SugarTree tower.

    1. Hi Jamee, any in particular? I haven’t gone back and checked on retail in west Auckland in a few months, so I might be out of date. But I’m only showing centres of 5,000 sqm or more, which is a reasonably large size.

  2. John a question about the data: Is this consents for building in general, or consents for building new dwellings?

    if it’s the former, then it seems to me that building consents for houses are more likely to be distorted by consents given for “renos” of existing houses, whereas consents for other dwelling categories are more likely to be new dwellings.

    From anecdotal experience, people seem to renovate houses more so than they do other dwelling types. In which case this data may understate the degree to which these other dwelling types are meeting the demands of a growing population.

    1. Hi Stu, it’s new dwellings only. Stats NZ do figures for alterations as well, but they separate those out and I’m not looking at them.

  3. How come only one project gets a “…apartments on X levels – 3X height limit so not great quality” note when there’s also others where zonal height divided by number of floors is also 3m? All 5 levels in Mixed Use like Turing are 15m/5 = 3m also.

    Zone height divided by floors does not give stud height – floor systems affect this a lot. Even directions of floor systems will affect service runs affecting stud heights. Then there’s consents for over height, floors benched into sloping sites and quality not just being a function of stud height. The tracker is otherwise very objective so it seems odd coming across such a subjective comment – like suddenly coming across an anti-density NIMBY.

    1. Whoops, that’s a very old comment and not supposed to be in there. The DT is meant to be as objective as possible. Thanks aa, I’ve taken it out and checked all the other listings – you’d found the only one that had something like that!

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