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August 5th 2016



The Independent Hearing Panel’s recommendations on the Unitary Plan are soon to be decided upon by the Auckland Council. If their recommendations are adopted then Auckland is on the brink of an up & out expansion. In short - there will be a greater number of apartments developed not only in the inner city, but also in urban areas with good public transport links and with a variety of services equipped to handle higher density population.

There is concern in some quarters that this will allow for more of the ‘shoebox’ apartments of the nineties & norties - which were cheap to build and fraught with leaky building issues. This is not necessarily the case, as small space living has advanced dramatically in recent years and is on trend with regards to lifestyle choice.

Developers are aware that apartment dwellers are becoming far more astute - they want well constructed, warm, safe homes with good quality fixtures and fittings and cleverly designed use of spaces rather than expansive ones. This is still cost effective for developers but allows far more affordable options for buyers - owner occupiers and investors alike.

While many New Zealanders have grown up with the in-built desire to achieve the quarter acre dream, as the demographics of our cities evolve so to does the realisation that having a 3 bedroom wooden home on a section that requires constant attention is not necessarily the way of the future. Urbanites appreciate the developments and advancements of our transport links and hubs. They are seeking community living that incorporates a social aspect, while still retaining a level of privacy & security.

So does size matter? It is our opinion that when situated in convenient locations, with good accessibility and excellent amenities then city life-stylers can be more than content in 30 - 50sqm. Therefore the proposed changes to the unitary plan lowering the minimum sizes of apartments for future development should not affect any lack of interest when it comes to renters - this is good news for developers and investors.