Some reacted with scorn when a new Auckland apartment block was built without much parking — but public transport and active routes to work can now add significant value to your property, while the cost of the car is rising.
The Daisy apartment block on Dominion Rd hit the headlines earlier this year when it opened with no residential parking places. Instead there are two car-sharing parks and bicycle and scooter parks. It's not the only one. Other new residential apartments are being planned without parking places.
Developers are responding to rising construction costs and the need for more affordable housing. There are also more options for getting around the city than in the past. They include Uber, Zoomy, car-sharing, new cycle paths and expanding public transport. The car is no longer king.
Public transport use in Auckland is on the increase. More than 45 per cent of journeys into the city centre are on public transport and is growing. Last year was the biggest for public transport in Auckland since 1956 — the last time the trams were running.
Auckland currently has 82km of rapid transit lines (the Northern Busway and the Eastern, Western, Southern, and Onehunga rail lines), which are separated from general traffic.
This will expand in future to include the City Rail Link, Light Rail, and new busways.
What that means for home owners is that the closer you are to public transport, the higher the value of your property is likely to be in future.
Overseas studies show this is already the case. Property within 500m of underground stations in London is worth 10 per cent more than houses further away. In Glasgow people pay an extra £9400 ($18,000) to be near a rail station. In the US during the 2006-2011 recession, residential property values performed 42 per cent better if they were near public transport with high frequency service.
Hamish Bunn, head of integrated planning and sustainability at Auckland Transport, says there is anecdotal evidence of developers wanting to build closer to rapid transit routes in response to public demand.
"Our rapid transit network, and increasingly our frequent bus network, provides congestion-free links to more parts of the city. Access to these networks will make properties more attractive and more valuable into the future," he says.
"Over the next decade Aucklanders will see big improvements on the rail and bus networks. For example, on the rapid and frequent networks, we're working towards a bus every 10 minutes between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week. This will really add to the appeal of public transport for everyday travel."
Public transport is an increasingly attractive means of getting around the city. If you're looking to invest or buy a new home, it would pay to put public transport at the top of your location list.