Buying a brand new home is the ultimate dream for some Kiwis. No other human has lived in your home and in many cases it can be tailored to your requirements.

Building and living in these new subdivisions have pros and cons, says Harcourts chief executive Chris Kennedy.

"The biggest pro," says Kennedy, "is that everything is new and good quality."

It simplifies the process. Building on an individual sub-divided section, which may be on a back section, can be difficult. If you're buying from a developer in a mass subdivision much of the legwork, such as getting consents, will be done for you.


Developers have to jump through hoops to get a subdivision consented and councils require that amenities be catered for, including parks, shops, schools, and other community facilities.

"The developer either pays a reserve contribution or donates green areas for parks and recreation," says Kennedy.

If the property market is rising in price, then you can make good capital gains by buying early, says Kennedy. Often no one wants to be the first to buy in a new sub-division, but once ownership hits a tipping point where others want to follow, the prices may rise. After time, as has happened in Hobsonville and Silverdale, these communities become towns in their own right and residents have entertainment, schooling and all they need locally.

Typically, new homes are warmer and more sustainable than the old-fashioned, cold, damp Kiwi home. Often there are limited designs in a subdivision, which mean you're not paying for bespoke architectural work.

The cons could be that it may be difficult to personalise your space. Many new subdivisions, says Kennedy, have covenants that stop you building something out of keeping with the neighbours' homes, which limits you to house designs offered by the developer. The developers know that by keeping to a common aesthetic, the properties will be easier to sell.

If you dream of your own mud adobe brick home, you may not be allowed to build it. You may be restricted on where you place washing lines, satellite dishes or even park your caravan or mobile home on the property.

Your commute could get longer. This is the biggest con, says Kennedy.

Many, but not all, new subdivisions are on the edges of places such as Pokeno, Silverdale and Kumeu. That can make for a long commute if you work in Auckland's CBD.

There are, however, "brownfield" sites with new subdivisions in the city limits. These are typically former industrial sites such as the Mt Wellington quarry, which has been opened up for housing development.

If the subdivision is in an outer suburb, the values may not rise over time as fast as those in established, sought-after suburbs.