Construction is set to start next week on stage one of new housing development in Rotorua, with an estimated value of more than $50 million once the two stages are completed.
The Mountview Green development offers buyers the opportunity to choose from 26 properties in Koutu's Ian St and 60 more on a Frank St site across the road.
Of the 86 houses in the overall development, 35 are to be KiwiBuild homes.
The three-bedroom and two-bathroom houses will range from standalone to duplex and terraced options.
Stage one of the development will see 26 houses become available, of which eight are earmarked for the $485,000 KiwiBuild homes. The rest are market houses of $660,000.
Local construction company Tawharau Housing Limited will complete the development.
The site was formally known as Kawaha Point Villas, established by FHB Group Limited, which was placed into receivership after more than two years with 12 buyers stuck in contracts.
Two of the buyers have held on to their contracts in the new Mountview Green site.
The development is being marketed by local firm Professionals McDowells Real Estate and principal Steve Lovegrove said there had been an "overwhelmingly positive response".
About 120 people flocked to the Novotel Rotorua hotel last week to hear more about the development and funding options available, including the KiwiBuild programme options.
Lovegrove said this was a "great attendance" outcome for this type of promotional event.
He said the KiwiBuild programme speaker informed them that the turnout in Rotorua was significantly higher than normally seen for similar events in Auckland.
"It was a really amazing response and lots of people stayed for about 45 minutes after the presentation ended to ask more questions, particularly about the Kiwibuild programme."
Lovegrove said there was a "real buzz" around the room after those attending got to hear from the developer, a KiwiBuild programme representative and financial experts.
"We don't know how many potential buyers have registered for the KiwiBuild programme as they have to do that online and go into a ballot.
"But there was a big show of interest in the KiwiBuild houses and also all the different funding options available."
The fact that this development is fully funded and building consent was approved had helped to spark lots of buyer interest, Lovegrove said.
He said once completed, the overall development's estimated value would be well over $50m and potential buyers should get in early to ensure they do not miss out.
Kāinga Ora development manager and KiwiBuild sales liaison officer Kitty Rothschild said
the agency was "very encouraged" by the high turnout of potential buyers last week.
"We're pleased that KiwiBuild homes will be delivered in Rotorua to help provide more affordable housing for eligible buyers.
"We're partnering with the developer to deliver 35 KiwiBuild homes over the next two years at this 86-home development.
"Given the current challenges people are facing to enter the housing market, interest in KiwiBuild illustrates the benefits of the programme in providing more affordable housing.
"We'd encourage people who'd be interested in buying one of these homes to check if they're eligible by visiting the KiwiBuild website.
"We'll be looking to partnering with more developers to explore options to deliver more KiwiBuild homes in the region," Rothschild said.
Mountview Green developer Marcus Jacobson said: " It was a great turnout, and really exciting to know there is this much interest in the development."
Jacobson said in addition to the two buyers who held on to their original contracts with the previous developer, two more open-market houses were now also under contract.
"It was important that people know we have the capital to ensure the development will be completed and they can be confident we have the capabilities to deliver these houses."
Because of the extensive civil works that had already taken place at the site, the building consent process was fast-tracked by the Rotorua Lakes Council, he said.
Jacobson said construction was set to begin on the Ian St site next week, commencing with the pouring of concrete for the garage car pads.
This would be followed by installing foundation screw-piles and putting up the wall framing, which would begin in the next two to three weeks, he said.
"Today [March 30] our development manager met with the builder on-site to start ordering the solid wood Metrapanels which we could not do until we got the building consents," he said.
The Metrapanel construction system uses pre-cut moisture resistance panels to create interior wall surfaces as well as the structural and bracing elements of a building.
Jacobson said he had the capital to ensure the two-phased development was completed and the first stage was expected to take six months.
"The string lines are already up and it's full steam ahead from here," he said.