Auckland's so-called "regeneration" suburbs, such as Mt Roskill and Mt Wellington, are seeing a growing number of first-home buyers. According to the latest CoreLogic Buyer Classification data, first-home buyers account for 31 and 24 per cent of total buyers in Mt Roskill and Mt Wellington respectively.

This represents a steady increase over the past two or three years. Auckland's other major regeneration suburb, Northcote, has seen a relatively low number of first-home buyers, at 21 per cent, which is well below investors who dominate the total share of sales at 48 per cent.

The appeal of these suburbs is obvious. The Auckland Housing Programme, a joint initiative between Housing New Zealand and HLC, is helping to enhance all three areas (among others).

This programme, which started in June 2016, aims to deliver about 5200 new additional state housing homes and 12,800 new affordable and market homes over the next 10 years.

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The quality of housing being constructed, both in terms of their design and insulation, is impressive. Northcote, in particular, is seeing wider roads and improved amenities and schooling. The area is attracting the attention of investors, who see its future potential.

All three suburbs are great examples of how Auckland's Unitary Plan is taking New Zealand's largest city into the future. Intensification is the new norm, not just in inner-city suburbs, but now in outer "satellite" towns. Smaller apartments and multi-level townhouses now replace older, often larger 1940s state houses. Large sites being split into three to four separate units.

Affordability in these areas remains a challenge, particularly for entry-level buyers.

Despite the recent surge in first-home buyer activity in Mt Roskill and Mt Wellington, their overall share of sales has dropped since 2005 in these areas. Mt Wellington, with a qv.co.nz E-Valuer median price of $804,250, offers the most affordable median price when compared to Mount Roskill and Northcote.

Housing New Zealand is achieving positive outcomes and enhancing the look and feel of these suburbs, which have enormous potential. With a portion of Housing New Zealand properties being sold as "affordable" properties in the open market, it'll be fascinating to see whether first-home buyers continue their resurgence in the up-and-coming suburbs.

• Source: CoreLogic yearly data points running from 2005 to 2018 (YTD).