Property editor of the NZ Herald

Hobsonville Point home numbers double

A row of houses in the new Hobsonville housing development.
A row of houses in the new Hobsonville housing development.

The scale of one of Auckland's newest big housing developments has now doubled, with Hobsonville Point dwelling dwelling numbers now rising from 2500 to 5000.

Demand for residences at the housing estate in Auckland's northwest has been so strong that the numbers planned to be built there have been up-scaled.

Chris Aiken, Hobsonville Land Company chief executive, said instead of 2500 dwellings, around 5000 residences would now be built.

More land on the Waitemata Harbour had become available, the area had been prepared for greater density and demand was so strong that it was not only appropriate but also possible to vastly upscale numbers, Aiken indicated.

"Building 2500 [dwellings] was first planned about 10 years ago and there was a view of the market - Waitakere City Council and the Government said 'we will allow for more density' and they put in place ferry services, roads and employment zones and the market was there. The market came screaming along five years ago," he said.

"The doubling is driven by market demand for smaller product and the capability of the master planning and infrastructure to deal with it. It was a visionary, enabling master plan," Aiken said.

Decisions about rising numbers had been taken over a number of years, due to a combination of factors, he explained.

"The land was always capable of carrying that higher number. Five years ago, it was scaled up [from 2500] to 3000 when it became clear people would buy terraced housing. When we introduced affordable housing, it went to 3500 planned. It made sense to build more. And then with the advent of apartment typologies, that pushed it closer to 4000."

Prime Minister John Key during his visit to Hobsonville Point housing development in 2014. Photo / Brett Phibbs.
Prime Minister John Key during his visit to Hobsonville Point housing development in 2014. Photo / Brett Phibbs.

However, an extra 1000 dwellings were added to the plans when a further 20ha became available due to a bureaucratic back-peddling.

After being lobbied heavily by the marine industry, a large slice of 20ha was ear-marked for those services, which failed to arrive. That land is now re-zoned for housing, which further contributed to the increasing dwelling numbers, Aiken said.

"Land which Auckland Council ear-marked for the boating industry - now we can built on it," Aiken said.

Across most of the site, more apartments and terraced-housing would replace original plans for stand-alone housing.

Aiken said about 1200 dwellings had been sold so far, but only 750 residences were actually built.

The site on Auckland's north-western outskirts is now home to about 3000 people but when finished, 10,000 to 15,000 people or more could be living there.

"In the next two and a half years, there will be 2000 new dwellings completed," Aiken said. "We could end up with 500 to 1000 apartments, selling for $400,000 to more than $1 million."

Chris Aiken at Hobsonville Point where dwelling numbers planned have doubled. Photo/ Dean Purcell
Chris Aiken at Hobsonville Point where dwelling numbers planned have doubled. Photo/ Dean Purcell

About 10 to 15 apartment blocks would rise, ranging from three to five levels high.
"The biggest areas of demand are for affordable housing and early-stage people, single people and late-stage baby boomers who want to trade down," he said.

Half the new estate would be terraced houses, apartments would make up 15 per cent to 20 per cent and stand-alone housing would account for the balance, he said.

No sections are being sold to the public at Hobsonville Point. Instead, group house builders are the only ones able to buy the housing lots. They then sell house-and-land packages to retail customers.

Next to Hobsonville Point at Scott Point, new migrants from China have bought about 300 plots of land, some within just minutes of them hitting the market.

See a Google Maps veiw of Hobsonville Point - before much of the recent housing development started:

- NZ Herald

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