Homeowners in Auckland's Stonefields have pocketed an average $100,000 more per resale than surrounding suburbs over the past decade, highlighting how new-build homes can turn into goldmines.
Nestled beside east Auckland's Maungarei/Mt Wellington volcanic cone and carved out of a former stone quarry, the Stonefields development is made up entirely of new builds.
And those who bought early have profited handsomely.
Homes in the east Auckland suburb have resold for an average $492,666 profit over the past decade, an investigation by analysts OneRoof-Valocity showed.
By comparison, homes in neighbouring Mount Wellington resold for an average $392,667 profit in the same period, while Ellerslie profits were $363,912, Glen Innes profits $335,624 and St Johns profits $308,960.
Pete Evans from Colliers International said Stonefields homes grew in value because they offered buyers low-maintenance homes with a modern design, that weren't a hike to the city fringes.
"The advantage Stonefields had was it adjoins other suburbs of high demand but was offering something different," he said.
"It was offering new community and streetscapes ... and was generally up against much older houses, probably 50 to 60 years older."
It highlights how buyers can be willing to pay top dollar for new-build homes.
And it's a trend likely to continue given Auckland was not building homes fast enough to ease the city's housing shortage amid high demand, Evans said.
However, he also warned not all developments were created equal.
Stonefields was unique because it was set on one of the few large parcels of land that had become available in the Auckland isthmus recently and offered a range of dwellings, from apartments to five-bedroom homes.
That allowed its developer to largely set the prices it wanted for each release of new homes, Evans said.
Initially, it released its first homes in 2007 at a cheaper rate in order to bring in buyers and get "enough sales momentum" to keep the project going, Evans said.
But as Stonefields became more desirable, the developer was able to charge a higher premium for homes and earn more profit from the development, Evans said.
New developments on the city fringes didn't always have that luxury, however, as they were often in fierce competition with other developments to attract buyers.
That meant if one development put its prices up too much, buyers would simply buy in the other cheaper development, Evans said.
For that reason, new-build homes in large or infill developments closer to the city or more desirable suburbs may initially cost more but often had a greater chance of holding their value or rising. "Stonefields is a great case study for how a successfully masterplanned development was adopted by the market," Valocity director of valuation James Wilson said.
Overall, 4767 new homes and apartments were completed in Auckland in the past 12 months, according to OneRoof-Valocity.
Two-hundred and one were in Glen Innes, next to Stonefields. That meant almost 10 per cent of all properties in the suburb were brand new homes or apartments that had been released to market over the last year.
Apartment-filled Auckland city had 793 new properties finished in the last 12 months, while 427 were completed in West Harbour in west Auckland and 364 in Takanini in south Auckland.
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said new homes used to have a poor reputation about 20 years ago due to the "leaky homes debacle", poor building standards and unplanned subdivisions with poor amenities.
"It's amazing how that view has changed 180 degrees in such a relatively short period of time," he said.
"The rising value of homes in suburbs such as Stonefields and Hobsonville Point prove Kiwis want to live in well-built and well planned new homes and neighbourhoods."