Apartment developers are justified in asking buyers for more money, a property boss says.

Phil Eaton, Property Council Auckland president and managing director of project managers Greenstone Group, said the potential for apartment price rises was in contracts buyers had signed and developers were allowed to seek more.

"When apartment buyers sign an agreement, that's conditional on a lot of additional work including design, consenting, funding and construction, all required to make the project real. People should not be surprised by price rises. It's nothing new," Eaton said, referring to 2007 and 2008 when much the same was happening.

He also encouraged perspective.


Price rises had only hit about three out of 200 planned Auckland apartment projects, he said.

"Very few developers are asking for more, compared to the number of developments," Eaton said

His comments follow complaints from a St James Suites' buyer who got a $224,000 price shock when the unit he had agreed to buy for $775,000 became $999,000.

The price rise was for a unit, planned to be built in a tower on Queen St, where the New Zealander wanted to live but the price shock means he will not go ahead.