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Apartment developments on the rise

One of the key issues impacting on housing affordability has been a lack of new dwellings in the past few years, particularly in the areas where people want to live. The segment of the market hardest hit was the apartment market as shown in the most recent government report on housing affordability.


But it appears that we are now starting to see this market coming back with a raft of new apartments being proposed not just in the CBD but all around Auckland. A couple of well-known examples are:

New Lynn: Merchant Quarter Condominiums – 10 levels of apartments being proposed above a new car parking building and medical clinic development right next to the train station

Manukau: M Central – The conversion of an existing office building (ex IRD) to apartments and retail

City: Sugartree – A series of apartment buildings being developed around Cook and Nelson St.

City: 132 Vincent St – Another office conversion

Grey Lynn: The Issac – A lower rise development (four stories) that is already well under construction.

These are just a handful of them and I’m sure there are some I have missed. Further as far as I’m aware all of these have been selling fairly well which is a good sign. We can now another good looking building to the list with a new development called Urba being launched quietly last week. It is to be located just outside the CBD on Howe St and is replacing the building you see below.

Urba Current

And here is what the building is expected to look like.

Urba Proposed

As well as some pretty nice looking apartments, some of which will have amazing views, there are also some other neat amenities included:

Urba Features

Overall it does look like a pretty nice development. Apartments come in a range of sizes with 74 sq m, two bedroom apartments generally costing in the range of $380-490k. For a dwelling of that size, in that location it doesn’t seem too bad at all and could be ideal for a young couple looking for their first home.

This development, and the others listed above all seem to be a step above the crappy apartments we have saw in the early to mid 2000′s and while we can’t truly say how good they will or won’t be, the signs so far are extremely positive. Developers building good developments are going to be absolutely key for the general public to gain trust that apartments are a viable alternative and in doing so they can then really start to help address some of our housing affordability problems.

19 comments to Apartment developments on the rise

  • Sailor Boy

    good, hopefully there will be some decent ones on the shore when I come to buy.

  • Adam W

    Having had a look at these some of them seem very nice. I expect some good investments going forward especailly with the CRL.
    Through that one in Manakau does not appear that great from what I can see? No balconies and all 2 bedroom apartments at less than 45 square meters. I would have thought Manukau is the place that needs nice apartments to help really bring up the area.

  • Question: was it replacing the Chubb building or the cream yellow apartment block behind it?

  • Stu Donovan

    I_like I_saac

    • Icebird

      The Isaac development looks nice, and seems exactly like the type of development we should be encouraging… but it’s still pretty pricy. I think the 2 bedroom apartments were selling for something in the $700k range. I’m curious about the Urba develoopment, but the website is disappointingly uninformative. Where are the floor plans? Or prices? The marketing teams here could learn a lot from the Vancouver apartment developers (where competition amongst new builds was pretty cut-throat while I was there – you couldn’t get away with a second rate website).

      • I called them today to ask about it and they said they were just doing a soft launch initially with more focused marketing to come later so perhaps it will come then. With the Urba development the 2 bedroom apartments with sky terraces are up in the $700k+ range although they are also two story apartments.

  • James

    Unfortunately the M-Central development in Manukau is not one to shout from the rooftops – at 89 square meters for a 4 bedroom apartment – it’s aiming at the overseas student market only, being right across the road from the new MIT building.

    I worked in that building – it doesn’t get much sun when the floors were open plan. Now of course they will be getting even less.

  • Jonathan

    Does this mean the deferred Elliot Tower will spring back in-to life?

  • Dave Smith

    Finally some semi decent developments in Auckland (although M Central which looks quite average)

    Who knows, people might actually like quality apartments…..

  • WingedKiwi

    Shame they felt they had to show a car in the outside money shot (but at least someone stepped onto it ;-) ) – hope they at least acknowledge the fact that people in a place & location like this don’t need two car parks each!

    • Well the apartments don’t come with car parks. I understand that there are only 30 in the whole complex with them costing something like $70k each.

      • Starnius

        Good to hear! Let people pay the true price if they want them – rather than forcing them to be part of the package. I don’t want to be forced to a bottle of wine with every takeout meal either!

  • Rob

    Wonder if the by law for high rise aparrtment flats will pass soon for Sunnynook along the moterway by the Sunnynook bus station ? I have land there and may sell if the price is right – email me if you are, or know a developer –

  • Owen Thompson

    I have only just seen one lot of advertising re M Central and had assumed it was a new building.

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