The prototype of a Papamoa retirement village aimed at easing New Zealand's housing crisis had become so successful, replicas are now being built in the Waikato.

Freedom Lifestyle Village tested the original model Papamoa Sands in the Tauranga area, and was swamped by enquiries.

All 180 homes were sold in under three years.

Managing director Jacob Van Het Wout said the huge demand encouraged the development for of Cambridge Oaks plus a third village in Matamata, due to open next year.


The Cambridge version opens on November 25, with 205 homes on offer.

The village design is a new concept for New Zealand and is expected to ease the housing crisis by freeing up hundreds of larger homes for young families.

Van Het Wout said the villages differed to traditional retirement homes in that residents are allowed to retain legal beneficial ownership of their homes and shared in capital gains, if they chose to sell.

Van Het Wout said some residents at Papamoa had already made substantial capital gains on their new houses.

The villages also attracted younger residents, with the average age being eight years younger than that from a traditional retirement village, Van Het Wout said.

The villages offer a village centre, recreation shed, gym and motorhome carpark.

Taupo MP Louise Upston said it was exciting to see all the developments in Cambridge - "and particularly new residential options such as the Cambridge Oaks lifestyle village".

Cambridge falls into the Taupo electorate.

"One of my priorities for this term as MP for Taupo is to ensure there are great housing options in our community," Upston said.

"With people moving into this new lifestyle village, existing houses are freed up for more families to buy or rent.

"This is great news for Cambridge."

Waipa Mayor Jim Mylchreest said he was "delighted" by Cambridge Oaks.

"This is a great opportunity for people wishing to downsize from their existing homes to take advantage of a secure community environment whilst potentially freeing up capital for their retirement."

Mylchreest said downsizing "generally frees up existing family homes within the community that are absolutely necessary with the acute housing shortage facing New Zealand at the present time".

By the numbers

7.2 hectares
205 homes
Apartments from $249,000
3-bedroom from $519,000
Village centre
Library, gym, bars, pool tables
Motorhome carpark/washdown
Recreational/hobby shed
Opening Weekend Saturday November 25th - Sunday November 26th