The next six houses in Whangārei's contribution to the Government's house-buying scheme KiwiBuild will come on the market this week.
The first four of 10 were finished in the Kotata Heights subdivision on the flank of Morningside in March.
Gregg Marsland, from Ray White Whangārei, KiwiBuild's appointed sales company, said one couple had moved into one of those houses and three other families or couples were in the process of purchasing the others. Marsland described the result as ''bloody great!''
The remaining six are now ready, with a viewing day planned for Sunday. As with the first houses, the new two-bedroom ones will be for sale for $460,000 and three-bedroom for $500,000. Some have already been sold off the plans.
Marsland said the houses were good value — quality construction but with fittings and some features at the less expensive end of the range. They compared favourably with what else was on the local market, he said.
''The Whangārei average house prices have gone through the $500,000 mark.''
The Kotata Heights houses are dotted in amongst the development's other new-build and spec homes, some of which could compete with KiwiBuild on the market.
KiwiBuild bought the home and land packages from the subdivision developers, Tony and Claire Davies-Colley of BDX Group and BDX Ltd, in a deal finalised in 2018. That company had subcontracted the construction to build partners, Jennian, Generation, Signature and Classic Homes.
Kiwibuild confirmed it has since signed another deal for more new homes at Kotata Heights. Some have been bought as a house/land package from the subdivision developers and others directly from Classic Builders which owns some sections, Classic Builders' company director Pete Cooney said.
Spokesman Clint Smith said KiwiBuild was not ready to outline details of the arrangement or build schedule, preferring to make announcements closer to the finish rather than start date.
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Classic Builder's marketing manager Kathryn Scholes said the contract was ''win-win'' for everyone. The company had also built Kiwibuild houses in Tauranga.
''Our vision has always been to deliver affordable, quality houses and this partnership with KiwiBuild is a great opportunity to further that vision,'' Scholes said.
KiwiBuild under fire
The KiwiBuild scheme - touted as a way of bringing down house prices and getting people who couldn't scrape up a deposit into their own homes - has come in for a lot of criticism.
It hasn't delivered on the number of promised houses, hasn't shaken the market, and many houses in some parts of the country are unsold because they are possibly not the steal they were talked up to be.
Property developers sell houses to Kiwibuild at the market rate, and KiwiBuild then sells to eligible buyers ''at cost''. The Government's profits go back into building more houses.
But there is a misconception that KiwiBuild houses are subsidised by the Government. The help comes in the $500K or $460K price freeze (in all areas except Auckland and Queenstown) and the pre-approved buyer not having to stump up with a deposit.
KiwiBuild's income caps for purchasers have been criticised as too high, at a $180,000 ceiling for families and $120,000 for a single person - therefore not helping get the working poor into affordable homes.
Housing Minister Phil Twyford, who a month ago admitted there would be a shortfall in an already scaled-down KiwiBuild target, said the aim was to get more people in general into their own homes, not necessarily low income earners.
Nationwide, he now expects 266 KiwiBuild houses built by July, rather than the 1000 promised earlier.
The National Party's Opposition housing spokeswoman Judith Collins has been critical of KiwiBuild, which she described last month as ''just a welfare scheme for property developers.''
Real estate engine One Roof has 734 Whangārei properties listed with it this week, despite one large real estate agency in the city not being a One Roof client.
The median house value is slightly over $500,000, but has risen 10 per cent over the last year. The ''median'' value is the price of a house in the middle of those available whereas an ''average'' is the total value of the properties divided by the number there are.
Whangārei's median is tempered by a $215,000 section and, for example, a $300,000 house at the bottom, up to a $2 million house.
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