Albany: An Exclusive Extract

Including Greenhithe, Paremoremo, Rosedale and North Harbour

Albany and Greenhithe have a broad population base, ranging from urban professionals to lifestylers. Some students of Massey University's Albany campus live locally.

Brookfields Park and Northwood are hugely popular with ordinary families. Albany's two private schools, Kristin and Pinehurst, are a major drawcard for those with more money.

There's a broad range of dwellings, from the modest weatherboard houses near the old village to swanky new houses in the many developments. Brookfield Park and Northwood are laden with brick-and-tile houses on sections of about 600sqm.

Bushlands has a much wider range of styles, including stucco, brick-and-tile, small and large homes, and home-and-income options, reflecting its development about 10 years ago. The largest homes are those in the prestigious The Oaks and Oak Manor. There are townhouses in Schnapper Rock Rd and The Avenue.

Greenhithe has a mix of rural and upmarket residential properties, all sitting on a minimum of 1200sq m.

Paremoremo has million-dollar homes on lifestyle blocks.

Amenities
Huge population growth has been matched by good schooling. Last year, Albany Junior School opened to Year 7 students. It'll grow one year at a time, eventually catering for Year 7 to 10 students. Oteha Valley Rd's new primary school opened in 2004. Older pupils usually travel out of the area for secondary schooling.

In a very short time, Albany has become a shopper's dream. Not only is there the Mega Centre, but Westfield is to build a mega mall here. Greenhithe's shops include a bakery, a takeaway and a local garage.

Despite the burgeoning subdivisions, there are plenty of reserves in the area, including Lucas Creek Reserve, Wainono Park and the Albany Scenic Reserve.

Horses are part of the rural scene, with pony clubs and equine centres aplenty.

Trends
With a ready student market and long-term capital gain in mind, ex-pat Kiwis are buying investment properties in Albany. Affordable townhouses and homes in the middle price brackets are eagerly sought by campus academic staff.

New four-bedroom homes on 1200-1500sqm sites have broken the $1 million ceiling. Newer houses in the Bass Rd area are fetching $500,000 to $600,000. Greenhithe has a steady attraction for English and South African buyers who see the big houses on large sections as good value.

Water views command top dollar in Greenhithe because so much of the land bordering the upper harbour is reserve. Prices in rural Albany have doubled during the past two years making lifestylers move beyond Paremoremo towards Coatesville and Kaukapakapa.

Rental and investment
The highlight of an Albany landlord's year is the seasonal influx of tertiary students. A variety of apartments are available at a range of rents.

Best streets
Oak Manor Dr (aka Millionaires Row) in Albany; Vanderbilt Pde in Brookfield; Syracuse Pl in Northwood; Rame Rd and Kingfisher Gr in Greenhithe and the new homes in Kittiwake Dr.

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