With a new Government coming into power, there are interesting times ahead for the residential property market.

Restrictions on overseas speculators, more State houses, and an emphasis on affordable homes should make life easier for first home buyers.

For those looking to get a foot on the property ladder, Hobsonville Point has always been a good option, and it's looking even better with the arrival of South-Island based iwi Ngai Tahu.

Their property development arm is behind the Kerepeti project, their first foray into the Auckland property market that is due for completion early next year.

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Among the total of 208 terraced homes and apartments that Ngai Tahu Property plans to build - a mix of high density and medium density across two neighbourhoods - about 30 per cent have been earmarked as affordable homes for buyers who meet certain criteria.

As anyone who has been out to Hobsonville Point knows, this community will be ideal for first home buyers with its new schools, retail and hospitality outlets, and good transport links. See our New Neighbourhood feature on page 111 for more information about Kerepeti.

At the other end of the spectrum, our cover home on pages 60-61 shows off the talents of artist, photographer and interior designer Nikki Willis, who has worked magic on her 1910s Mt Eden villa with the help of architect Jason Bailey.

Nikki has used the renovation of the home to try out an intriguing combination of materials and colours that is a refreshing change from white on white colour schemes.

Taking a much more traditional approach, the Scheffer family of Remuera, on page 59, have tried to stay true to the heritage of their 1800s kauri villa, with equally stunning results.

Having lived in the villa for more than 25 years, Michael and Laraine see themselves as custodians of the historical home.