Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Auckland sections to soar in value under plan

Homeowners could become about $24b richer if council enacts unitary proposals

The $2 billion Mt Wellington Stonefields development of 2600 homes and apartments is well advanced. Photo / APN
The $2 billion Mt Wellington Stonefields development of 2600 homes and apartments is well advanced. Photo / APN

Auckland homeowners could become about $24 billion richer under Auckland Council's proposed Unitary Plan as the value of sections will shoot up.

Adam Thompson, an economist specialising in property of consultants Urbecon, said it was not yet widely known that people with a single house on large sections in popular suburbs were potentially in for a financial windfall if they sold their places for redevelopment.

The amount of money they could be paid would be much higher if the Unitary Plan is passed and far more intensive zoning regulations were ushered in, Thompson said.

The plan zones about 120,000 Auckland places - residential sections, mostly with a single older house - for more intensive development, particularly terrace housing and apartment buildings, significantly increasing the potential of the land and therefore its returns and ultimately the price because residences of just 30sq m could be built, he says.

"About 120,000 houses will go up in value by $100,000 to $200,000 but in more desirable suburbs, the value increases will be as high as $500,000 to $1 million," Thompson estimated.

Taking the figure of $200,000 and multiplying that by 120,000 properties gives the $24 billion figure, although some experts said many properties with single houses were already zoned for higher density and 120,000 properties was too many - only about 7 per cent of the 500,000-plus Auckland houses were zoned for apartments and terraces, so less than 50,000 properties would be affected.

Conor Roberts, external relations manager of New Zealand's biggest residential land developer, Todd Property Group in Quay St, agreed with Thompson that Aucklanders could get much richer.

But Todd wants rules for big developments relaxed to make building easier in a city desperate for thousands of new houses.

"As well as making small-scale redevelopments easier to do, the Unitary Plan needs to ensure rules for large developments enable more homes to be built in a faster timeframe. Making it easier for people to get on with building both single section houses and large size developments is the way Auckland will tackle the housing shortage," Roberts said.

Todd is building 5300 houses on two sites: most advanced is the $2 billion Mt Wellington Stonefields where 2600 houses/apartments will house 6500 people. Building is now starting at Long Bay on the North Shore where 2700 households are being created for about 7000 people.

"One of the untold positive stories is how good it'll be for home owners who have enough room to put another house on their section," Roberts said.

Under the Unitary Plan, Auckland Council has proposed Albany, Botany, Henderson, Manukau, New Lynn and Papakura will become metropolitan centres, where towers of up to 18 levels can be built.

Price hike

120,000 places tagged for intensive development

$100,000 the minimum values could increase

$1 million the maximum values could increase

- NZ Herald

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