Single-storey living developments out of vogue, says head of real estate business

New low-rise apartment blocks will be built in many Auckland suburbs this year in response to the housing supply crisis, an industry boss expects.

Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson predicted construction in Greenlane, Ellerslie, Mt Eden, New Lynn, possibly Grey Lynn and Takapuna.

"There seems to be a few more building consents in at the moment, so once it starts coming in, it may take the pressure off the prices," Mr Thompson said.

"These will be smaller apartment blocks, possibly two to three storeys," he said, citing the new Auckland Plan which says 70 per cent of new growth should be contained within existing city boundaries.


He said single-storey developments were on the way out.

"A lot of people are working up to six days a week and they don't want to worry about lawns and things. The style of living is changing."

Statistics NZ figures show the level of new building in Auckland will not accommodate the extra people moving to the region.

The Auckland Council's chief economist, Geoff Cooper, expects the population will rise by one person every 19 minutes as population growth picks up in the next 30 years.

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler has expressed concern about house price rises and particularly housing debt and the constraint on new Auckland supply.

Barfoot & Thompson said average sale prices had dropped from November's $627,721 to $624,015 last month - but these figures were still almost $80,000 above average sale prices at the start of the year.

"Westmere not Ponsonby, Meadowbank not Remuera, Glenfield not Takapuna, Goodwood Heights not Hill Park, Glen Eden not Titirangi" are areas Mr Thompson recommends first-home buyers consider.

"Don't necessarily look at the premium places. Look at suburbs you can afford."


In the pipeline
Thousands of new Auckland residential units and houses are either being planned or rising:

• Developer Tony Gapes wants to build 450 to 500 townhouses at 33 Panama Rd between Mt Wellington and Otahuhu.

• About 3000 homes are going up at Hobsonville Point.

• Residential lots are being sold for townhouses by Ponsonby's new Countdown supermarket on the former Soho site.

• John Copson wants to build apartments on his waterfront Takapuna site on Hurstmere Rd where he has a $250 million plan for shops, restaurants and cafes.

• Todd Property will soon begin building the first of 2700 houses on its 160ha Long Bay site on the North Shore.

• The first apartment block, the 44-unit Saltus, is rising at Todd's Stonefields, the former quarry at Mt Wellington.


• 500 to 700 apartments are planned at Ormiston Town Centre, Flat Bush, South Auckland, on a 19ha site.

Auckland sale prices 2012 (three-month average)
Jan-Mar: $545,638
Apr-Jun: $579,851
Jul-Sept: $589,892
Oct-Dec: $623,481

Source: Barfoot & Thompson