Property editor of the NZ Herald

Double Grammar Zone: The 3 magical words that inflate house prices

A For Sale sign in Auckland's desirable Double Grammar Zone. Photo / Getty Images
A For Sale sign in Auckland's desirable Double Grammar Zone. Photo / Getty Images

Three magical words significantly inflate the value and appeal of an exclusive group of Auckland residences.

"Double Grammar Zone" is a most alluring catch-cry to many in this already searing hot market.

Yes, these words offer the chance of access to the prestigious and successful Auckland Grammar School and Epsom Girls Grammar School.

Experts have long pointed to the difference in price for properties located within the DGZ and noticed that gap widening as the city's average house price continues to hit monthly record highs.

In 2013, a Mt Eden home just 750m outside of the tantalizing area went for $516,000 less than a house just up the road, valued the same but situated 250m within the zone, which cuts off south of Balmoral Rd.

But another word needs to enter our lexicon now: intensification.

Combine the four words, and you've got a true pot boiler.

As pressure goes on Auckland to get more houses, developers are pushing ahead with hundreds of smaller residences, townhouses and apartments in the sought-after area where land is so expensive but opportunities are so great.

So those two already jam-packed schools will potentially become even fuller when all those apartments are stacked full of residents.

As one commentator quipped recently: "School assemblies will need to be held at Eden Park if this carries on."

Take one example: a massive new $205.4 million urban village at Greenlane on Alexandra Park's carpark. That's rising now and will bring an entirely new residential community to land alongside the ASB Showgrounds on Greenlane Rd, near the extremely busy Manukau Rd intersection.

"We expect the sales process to be hot, with apartments appealing to the likes of empty nesters, young urban professionals, and families seeking the much sought-after double grammar zone," said Alexandra Park chief executive Dominique Dowding in 2014.

Now, Epsom MP and Act leader David Seymour has asked Education Minister Hekia Parata to consider legal changes to enrolment rules in response to pressure on school rolls in the sought-after DGZ.

Watch that space.

- NZ Herald

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