James Ihaka

James Ihaka is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Revealed: City's affordable spots

New areas are on the rise as prices in Auckland's former first-home hunting grounds climb out of reach.

Hobsonville Point development. The Government and Auckland Council are speeding up the planning and consent process to meet the demand for affordable housing. Photo / Richard Robinson
Hobsonville Point development. The Government and Auckland Council are speeding up the planning and consent process to meet the demand for affordable housing. Photo / Richard Robinson

West Auckland and parts of South Auckland are no longer an easy leg up on the real estate ladder as prices continue to rise throughout the region, a new report says.

But other suburbs like Silverdale and Weymouth are becoming good bets for first-home buyers, says the quarterly Property Report, in today's Herald.

The average house price in Titirangi, West Auckland, is now $656,850 - 26 per cent higher than in 2007 - meaning a $132,000 deposit is needed just to get a look in. Further south, suburbs such as Hill Park in Manurewa and Goodwood Heights have also climbed, with the latter's average price going up 24.4 per cent to $619,00.

The Government and Auckland Council are speeding up the planning and consent process to meet the demand for affordable housing and work has started on several major projects with the aim of delivering at least 5000 new homes a year.

The report, which uses CoreLogic figures, has highlighted a number of developments on the outer fringes of the urban area where house prices are lower than elsewhere.

It says bus-only lanes on the Northern Motorway have made living in places like Silverdale a more realistic option, while the upgrade of suburban rail and bus hubs such as at Panmure and the imminent arrival of electric trains were raising the appeal of nearby suburbs.

Ray White Papakura owner Ted Ingram said housing was rising fast in in South Auckland.

A development near Wesley College at Paerata would be the site of at least 4500 new homes to be built over a 15- to 20-year period. In Weymouth, about 280 houses overlooking the Manukau Harbour are planned. Some will cost between $325,000 and $475,000.

Mr Ingram said he was amazed at hearing how people couldn't afford their first home.

"I can get you in one for $350,000 to $400,000," he said.

"It can get you a three-bedroom home built in the 1960s with a garage but with no ensuite and no fourth bedroom - young people have to realise these days they have to start where we started."

The head of hometopia.co.nz, Stephen Hart, said people will still want to live close to town and consider apartment living but satellite suburbs were also being considered.

"The transport systems are likely to improve to these outlying suburbs and they can get a house and section we only dreamed about - we can't even do that in Mt Wellington or Panmure now."

He still thought places like Papakura and Whangaparaoa were too far for most city workers to consider. "Some people are doing it but it's not a trend, in my opinion."

The report's writer, Tony Verdon, says the newly developed areas will not appeal to all younger buyers, many of whom would prefer to live closer to Auckland's centre.

"But increased pressure on Auckland prices will force many to these newer developments on Auckland's expanding urban fringe."

- NZ Herald

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