Despite it being winter, and almost an election, and house prices in Auckland having backed off a bit this year, there have still been a number of apartments ‘launched to the market’ in the last couple of months.
Interestingly, the eastern suburbs are finally getting some love. The area from Parnell through to Glendowie has been very quiet in terms of new housing since 2012. Ngati Whatua have big plans for their land at Bastion Point (with 30 homes completed last year), and Orakei Bay Village has been planned for many years (but with no homes built yet). On the whole, though, things have been quiet, especially to the huge number of projects around the southern and western fringe of the inner city.
And then, within two months, four apartment projects have been launched: two in Mission Bay, one in Parnell and one in Meadowbank. The Edition, Outlook, Soto and Horizon apartments will give some much-needed new housing in these affluent suburbs.
At the more affordable end of the spectrum, Ockham Residential have also started marketing (and building) their latest project, Tuatahi. These apartments in Mt Albert are pretty much next door to Pak ‘N Save, a 10 minute walk from the Avondale train station, and 90% are being sold for less than $650,000.
All of these developments, and another 800+ others, are outlined on the RCG Development Tracker page.
New Homes (Building Consents)
I’ve also looked at Auckland and Christchurch consents in the past, but this month is the first time I’m looking at the entire country… read on for more…
For reasons which have been lost in the mists of time, no one collects information on how many homes are being built, or completed across New Zealand. Building consents are the best data source we have – and they give a good idea of how much housing is being built.
In Auckland, consenting activity is running at just over 10,000 homes a year, with very little change in the last few months. The graph below shows these figures, broken down into detached “houses” and other higher-density housing types, the kind we cover in the Development Tracker:
The number of houses being consented has actually eased off in the last year – fortunately, higher-density housing has picked up some of the slack. However, with builders around Auckland all flat out, it’s hard to imagine that consenting levels will grow much – and even if they do, it probably won’t translate into a big lift in building activity.
The post-earthquake building boom in Christchurch has been winding down, and some of the builders, machinery etc are starting to help Auckland tackle its housing shortage. As shown in the graph below, Christchurch consents peaked 2.5 years ago:
This graph actually shows the number of homes being consented right across New Zealand – the first time I’ve made this comparison. I’ve split consents into the four fastest-growing cities (including surrounding districts), and the rest of the country (“other NZ”).
The results indicate that Hamilton is building more homes than ever before, and Tauranga is at near-record levels too. Christchurch is down about 30% from its post-earthquake peak, although it’s still above the historical average. The rest of the country is also running strong: the building boom has spread to many regions besides the major cities.
Overall, New Zealand is consenting just over 30,000 homes a year. Auckland is getting 33% of those new homes, even though the city tends to get 50%-60% of nationwide population growth, and even though New Zealand’s growth is currently being driven by immigration and immigrants overwhelmingly prefer to settle in Auckland. That’s pretty clear evidence of Auckland’s housing challenges, and while the city struggles to cope with the demand for new housing, the rest of the country is making hay while the sun shines – managing to deliver more affordable homes, which for many people is a worthwhile compromise if they can’t afford to buy in Auckland.