Today Albany is a bustling, business-friendly suburb of head offices, with a world-class stadium, new swim centre, great schools and a growing university.

It's a long way from the rural idyll of old, a suburb considered remote until the Auckland Harbour Bridge was built in 1959.

Yes, the strawberry fields and orchards have gone but in their place is a thriving, family-friendly suburb, with great amenities, and offering plenty of choice for a wide range of home buyers.

Over the last decade, Albany often has been called "the new capital of the Shore" and it seems the prediction is finally coming true.

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"Albany is a thriving mix of retail and lively entertainment and has easy access to motorways heading north, south or west," says Sheryl Campbell, branch manager of Albany Bayleys.

"With new developments offering a unique style of apartment living, and with new businesses relocating to Albany each week, the suburb offers a wealth of employment and business opportunities," she says.

There are various apartment developments in the market — including Rose Gardens, OKLA and Library Lane. Campbell says that 13 per cent of sales last year were apartments.

"Albany is a thriving mix of retail and lively entertainment and has easy access to motorways heading north, south or west."

She says Albany and the wider area provide a range of housing options including residential homes, small lifestyle properties, and a growing number of apartment and small townhouse style developments that appeal to everyone from downsizers and first home buyers to investors.

"People love the area primarily because of the proximity to everything. All aspects of life are catered for and accessible within Albany."

Campbell says buyers are also attracted by the area's high-quality schools. And the presence of Massey University provides a great rental opportunity for property investors.

Albany Primary School, Albany Junior and Senior High Schools, and private schools Pinehurst and Kristin have a reputation for delivering high-level academic, creative arts, and sports programmes.

The park-and-ride bus station, which has 1100 parking spaces, means city workers can be in downtown Auckland in under 20 minutes.

Albany is a thriving mix of retail and lively entertainment. Photo / Ted Baghurst
Albany is a thriving mix of retail and lively entertainment. Photo / Ted Baghurst

And that commute time is likely to get shorter after Auckland Mayor Phil Goff announced the dedicated Northern Busway lane will extend to Albany and then on shoulder lanes to Silverdale.

Come summer, it's an easy drive from Albany to the many great beaches on the Shore.
The retirement sector of the market is also strong.

"New retirement developments in Albany are built to exceptional standards. They are spacious and luxurious with quality fittings," says Campbell.

After a drop in sales over the second half of 2017, activity levels have found a base and Campbell expects volumes to continue to improve this year.

"Encouragingly the North Shore experienced an upturn over the December 2017 quarter with sales activity increasing by 8 per cent, outperforming the broader Auckland market.

"This reflects the ongoing appeal in the North Shore."

RECENT SALES

146 Attwood Rd, Paremoremo, Albany is a solid family home with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a pool. The home has French-style fittings, and features a generous use of timber and saligna floorboards. Its CV is $1,025,000 and it sold for $1,350,000.

$1,350,000: 146 Attwood Rd, Paremoremo. Photo / Supplied
$1,350,000: 146 Attwood Rd, Paremoremo. Photo / Supplied

41 Kinleith Way, Albany is a home that was recently refurbished throughout to a high standard. There is a master bedroom with en suite and walk in wardrobe. And there is a large family dining area, as well as four bedrooms, two lounges, two bathrooms and two garages. Its CV is $1,150,000, and it sold for $1,526,000.

 $1,526,000: 41 Kinleith Way, Albany. Photo / Supplied
$1,526,000: 41 Kinleith Way, Albany. Photo / Supplied

7 Wicklam Ln, Albany is a home offering spacious one-level living plus four large living areas. The four bedrooms include a master with en suite. As well there are two bathrooms and two garages. Its CV is $2,010,000 and it sold for $1,938,000.

$1,938,000: 7 Wicklam Ln, Albany. Photo / Supplied
$1,938,000: 7 Wicklam Ln, Albany. Photo / Supplied

PROPERTY PRICES

Prices range from $500,000 through to $2 million-plus with the average price for Albany in the 12 months to December 2017 being $1,200,000, says Sheryl Campbell of Albany Bayleys.
Section sizes range from 400sq m through to 10,000sq m for some lifestyle properties.

RENTS

With high demand for short-term rentals, there are not a lot of long-term rentals around. Two-bedroom homes can be found for around $450 a week, but more typically would be $500 upwards. Three-bedroom homes start at $600 a week but can hit $1000 if high quality and in a good location.

SCHOOLS

Albany Primary School, Albany Junior High School, Albany Senior High School, and private schools Pinehurst and Kristin.

BEST STREETS

Any of the streets bordering the North Shore Golf Course are excellent — St Andrews Way, Oak Manor Drive.
Other good streets include The Landing, Clemows, Attwood Rd, Paremoremo Rd, Elmore Rd and Hardens Lane which has lifestyle properties, many with beautiful water views.

LOCAL ATTRACTIONS

Albany Stadium Pool

opened last year. It's a great place for families who want to have fun in the water; it also has a state-of-the-art fitness centre and small group fitness classes.

Albany Lakes Civic Park

covers 6.5ha park and has a floodlit path around two artificial lakes. Other features include 17,000 plants and a bridge with an ornate wrought iron balustrade.