Buyers at New Zealand's largest planned apartment project are complaining of price rises and delays, but the developers are blaming extremely slow property processes in this country for costing them $20,000 a day in interest.
Two buyers at Rose Gardens at Albany contacted the Herald in the last fortnight to complain of late delivery and price rises of more than $100,000 but the project's sales manager said there were good reasons for both issues.
"We are doing a good job," said Jonathan, the sales manager who would not give his surname.
"The only reason for price rises are because the apartments as they have been built were bigger than they were on the plans. Some are smaller so we give refunds. Some are larger so they pay more. The price difference is not just more expensive. Some have come down in price," he said.
Plans are to develop 800 units on Don McKinnon Dr near Westfield Albany and so far, 201 have been built, he said.
Delays in settlement were caused by issues getting the titles to the units yet practical completion was granted before Christmas, he said.
"We're paying $20,000 interest a day. Who is caring how much we lost in the first stage? We are not making any profit on the first stage.
"As a Chinese developer, we're still trying our best to get the buildings finished. No one is helping us to get our titles. Yet we are the biggest consented apartment project in New Zealand," he said.
One buyer complained last month that his patience was running out.
"We were led to believe that settlement was imminent back in February, but things have gone very quiet. Despite repeated attempts to contact the project development team, we have had no updates on progress regarding completion and occupation," he said.
Another buyer said he paid a 10 per cent deposit on a $935,000 four-bedroom 144sq m unit in 2016. Before Christmas, he was asked for $980,000 but last month that went up to $1,041,000, so he was consulting a lawyer.
"The price just keeps rising," he complained.
Asked why he had bought off the plans and signed a contract which allowed the end price to change, he could not answer that but the contract was "about 50 pages long" and he would take legal advice.
Directors of NZ Rose Garden Development, a New Zealand company, are Tina Yang of Auckland and Guojia Yu and Yian Wu of Nanjing, China, according to the Companies Office.
Jonathan said apartments were priced as affordable - one-bedroom places were under $600,000, while two-bedroom places were under $800,000, he said.
"Seventy-five per cent of our units are affordable," he said.
"We are supplying more affordable properties to the Auckland community. Consider the location where our project is. We are creating a better living environment for the Auckland society. But we could never be successful on our own. We need more help from the community," he said.