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.
And here is what the building is expected to look like.
As well as some pretty nice looking apartments, some of which will have amazing views, there are also some other neat amenities included:
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.