Red tape and growing pressure on Auckland's scarce parking spaces is being blamed for the decision to bulldoze old homes and turn them into carparks.
The Herald reported on Thursday that four historic Remuera Rd properties had been bulldozed, levelled and transformed into commercial parking.
The properties are all within a stone's throw of each other at 62, 75, 78 and 80 Remuera Rd, and have a combined value of nearly $10 million.
The street is the gateway to one of the country's rare $2m suburbs.
Some of the properties were over a century old and the revelations have raised questions about how we value the city's heritage.
Real Estate Institute chief Bindi Norwell said the demolitions reflected the costs associated with new government regulations around rental properties.
"We are hearing a number of stories around the country from landlords who are selling their rental property ahead of the insulation deadline of July 1 as the cost is too prohibitive to bring older properties up to the new standards.
"This is obviously decreasing the total rental stock, but on the positive side it's increasing the new listings available for sale."
The Remuera Rd properties were the first examples REINZ had heard of where it had been more profitable to demolish a building and turn it into a carpark.
"But with the shortage of parking supply in Auckland, it's not really surprising when you stop to think about it. Especially, when some city carparks, such as the Auckland Transport-owned Downtown carpark, are charging customers $40 a day. It would be much cheaper to 'park' in Remuera and 'ride' into the city on the bus."
In 2016, the Herald reported that a grand, century-old Mediterranean-inspired house at number 62 had been knocked down and transformed into a 30-lot parking area.
The owner leased the 746sq m property to Wilson Parking and since then three other nearby homes have followed a similar fate.
Across the road, a historic boarding house at number 75 - which was bought in 2016 for $3m - was bulldozed several years ago and is now run by Wilson Parking.
Over the road again is an 18-site carpark across numbers 78 and 80.
The homes, which dated to 1910, were pulled down recently to make way for the carpark.
Their owner, Auckland real estate agent and auctioneer Mark Sumich, said it was more viable to bulldoze the run-down properties and earn money from parking than spend huge money bringing them up to required standards.