Alanah Eriksen

Alanah Eriksen is the New Zealand Herald's property reporter, and assistant chief reporter.

Newly popular suburbs lead in residential street sales

Buyers are looking outside the popular areas as they struggle to enter the rising housing market. Excluding central Auckland apartment sales, there were four North Shore streets in the top 10.

Margaret O'Brien (left) and Jan Jenkins are renovating a 'do-up' on Manuka Road with their husbands and will sell the property when finished.  Photo / Natalie Slade
Margaret O'Brien (left) and Jan Jenkins are renovating a 'do-up' on Manuka Road with their husbands and will sell the property when finished. Photo / Natalie Slade

Welcome to Auckland's biggest selling residential street.

With 45 homes sold in the past 12 months, Manuka Rd in the North Shore suburbs of Bayview and Glenfield has attracted more buyers than anywhere else, if apartments are taken out of the equation. The figure represented about 20 per cent of the street's 230 houses.

Real estate agents put it down to price, with more buyers looking outside the popular areas as they struggle to enter the rising market.

The median sales price for homes on the street in the past year was $424,500, well below the Auckland average of $530,000.

Residents say they are receiving weekly calls from real estate agents asking if they are willing to put their homes on the market as they had buyers interested.

The Herald asked the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand for a list of 10 streets that had seen the most sales in the past year.

With apartments, the top was Hobson St with 165 sales in the 12 months to September 30 with a median sales price of $195,000. Most of the others were also in central Auckland, including Queen St, Nelson St, Waterloo Quadrant and Wakefield St.

Without apartments, the streets were all large suburban streets with Kohimarama Rd second behind Manuka Rd with 40 sales and a median sales price of $815,500.

Don Buck Rd in Massey, which had 39 sales, Glenfield Rd in Glenfield, which had 36, and Manukau Rd in Epsom, which had 35, rounded out the top five.

There were four North Shore streets in the top 10, including East Coast Rd in Mairangi Bay and Glamorgan Drive in Torbay.

There were 70,258 house sales nationally in the same period, excluding sections and apartments, and 24,234 of those were in Auckland.

Manuka Rd, which is 2.4km long, has a primary school and daycare centre situated on it and another primary school a street over, as well as Glenfield College nearby.

There is a boat ramp off Manuka Reserve, at the end of the street which leads out into the Waitemata Harbour.

When the Herald visited on a Sunday, eight homes had for sale signs outside, five had "just sold" notices and two were being advertised for rent.

Harcourts real estate agent Lily McDonald was holding an open home at number 190.

She said about 10 potential buyers had been through the house during the half-hour slot.

The house boasts seven bedrooms, sits on a 832sq m site with bush views and has a council valuation of $570,000.

The owners had been renting out the house after moving to Marton, south of Wanganui.

"They were here for 10 years," Ms McDonald said.

"They told me they loved the privacy, the bird life, the location - there's a bus stop at the top of the road, just the convenience of it."

The house is due to go to auction on November 28.

Neighbour Iris Hood, 26, and her fiance, Mike Jennings, 29, who grew up in his Manuka Rd home, said they had seen several people coming and going in the past year.

"Real estate agents are always asking if we want to sell and if we want to list with them as a lot of people are looking in the area," Miss Hood said.

"I think it's because of the schools in the area and the fact the houses are priced at mid-range, not high end."

Glenfield Barfoot & Thompson real estate agent Carey Marsh said buyers were starting to consider moving to streets like Manuka in suburbs which hadn't always had a good name.

"It's moderately priced, but that is changing, it's close to schools, it's close to the motorway, you've got the shops up the road. I believe it's undervalued."

He said his parents told him not to buy in Beach Haven but he lived there for 13 years.

"It used to be the three Bs you never went for - Beach Haven, Birkdale and Bayview."

He said a few sections on the road had been subdivided but most of the homes did not need renovating and were ready for families not looking to spend time and money on a "do-up".

Real Estate Institute chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said buyers often needed to look on the fringes of Auckland to compete in the market.

"Buyers are definitely starting to look in the less traditionally popular suburbs as prices rise, and that's a smart thing to be doing when trying to get the best possible value.

"Given the median price for all properties in Auckland was $530,000 in October 2012, $424,500 is a price point which is attracting first home buyers.

"There are other parts of Auckland where the median prices are lower - for example, in October 2012 the median prices for Papatoetoe was $392,000, in Manukau City it was $328,500 and in Papakura, $360,000."

Units were often good value but buyers needed to do their research when thinking of purchasing one, Ms O'Sullivan said.

"For example, if you buy a unit titled property, you as the owner become a member of the body corporate which looks after the common property in the complex, and there are aspects of that which you need to understand before buying."

On Kohimarama Rd, which is 2.5km long, there are more than 350 houses.

Barfoot & Thompson real estate agent Trent Colyer, who is selling a high-end property on the street, said buyers were not buying in the street for the sought-after schools of Auckland Girls' Grammar School and Epsom Girls Grammar as it was just outside of the zone.

"But people can get a lot of home for their money, and they may look at private schooling or Selwyn High School, which is coming along quite nicely. Proximity to the beach is always nice.

"The amenities are just superb in that part of town. You're a little bit further out of the CBD and the crush."

He said a range of people were buying on the street.

He had shown two couples through his listing at number 300 which had a council value of $1.72 million - a couple with grown-up children and another with three school-aged children.

"You've got homes that are appealing to the 30-something set with young children, for the primary schools and the affordability, right through to the beautiful homes that we've got up around 300 to 312 Kohimarama Rd, where you're setting in the $2.5 million to $3 million range."

The most expensive street in the top 10 was Remuera Rd, which had a median sales price of $986,864.

Mr Colyer said there had been intensive development on the road closer to Newmarket, possibly driving up the sales.

KEEN PRICE AND A CAN-DO ATTITUDE

What first attracted them to Manuka Rd was the price.

Jan and Tony Jenkins and their best friends Margaret and Brett O'Brien went halves on an investment property in July when it had been vacant for several months because of its "unliveable state".

They have spent every spare moment working on it for the past three months, calling in favours from friends and help from other relatives.

The two-bedroom home, which has a floor size of 120sq m and is attached to another unit, went for $320,000, $50,000 under its council valuation. The couples have rewired and replumbed the house and put in a new bathroom and kitchen.

"It was a dump," Mrs Jenkins said. "We got rid of 11 truck-loads of stuff. The last owner had started to do it up but I think he ran out of energy as a lot needed to be done."

The foursome were hard at work when the Herald visited on a Sunday and said they hoped to sell the property within a month.

If they didn't get the price they wanted, they would rent it out. It is the first investment property for the O'Briens, who live in Devonport, but the Jenkins', based in Browns Bay, have renovated about 11 homes.

The couples, who own separate drycleaning businesses on the North Shore, have been friends for 20 years. They had managed to avoid any major clashes over colour schemes.

"It's lucky we're all such great friends," Mrs Jenkins said. "This has been a lovely project for us. We're all handy, we've all got great skills."

The Jenkins' two adult children have played roles in the project - their son put the airconditioning in and their daughter acts as the unofficial "project leader".

OUT TOP SELLING STREETS

Without apartments | Number of sales | Median sales price

* Manuka Rd, Bayview | 45 | $424,500
* Kohimarama Rd, Kohimarama | 40 | $815,500
* Don Buck Rd, Massey | 39 | $375,000
* Glenfield Rd, Glenfield | 36 | $478,500
* Manukau Rd, Epsom | 35 | $651,000
* Remuera Rd, Remuera | 34 | $986,864
* Blockhouse Bay Rd, Avondale | 34 | $430,500
* East Coast Rd, Mairangi Bay | 33 | $617,500
* Blockhouse Bay Rd, Blockhouse Bay | 32 | $493,500
* Glamorgan Dr, Torbay | 32 | $547,500

With apartments | Number of sales | Median sales price

* Hobson St, Auckland central | 162 | $195,000
* Queen St, Auckland central | 110 | $206,550
* Nelson St, Auckland central | 103 | $180,000
* Waterloo Quadrant, Auckland central | 68 | $182,500
* Wakefield St, Auckland central | 63 | $165,000
* Remuera Rd, Remuera | 55 | $1,058,000
* Albert St, Auckland central | 49 | $395,500
* Whitaker Pl, Grafton | 46 | $143,500
* Manuka Rd, Glenfield | 45 | $424,500
* Anzac Ave, Auckland central | 44 | $205,000

* Sales: 12 months to September 30

- NZ Herald

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