Auckland's rural housing slowdown welcomed

9:08 pm on 7 March 2017

A real estate agent in Auckland's rural north-west say the council's decision to put the brakes on further housing in the area is sensible.

Land development underway at the Huapai Triangle, in Kumeu, West Auckland.

Further land developments, like that under way at the Huapai Triangle in Kumeu, face long delays under the new plan. Photo: RNZ/ Alex Ashton

Some of the planned developments in Kumeu, Huapai and Riverhead will be delayed, to allow time to get infrastructure such as transport upgrades and stormwater systems in place.

That means much of the so-called Future Urban Zone land will start coming on stream from 2028 instead of 2022.

Bob Howard, one of the owners of Harcourts at Kumeu, said the delay was sensible.

"Roading is the biggest issue we have out here at the moment, and just the linkage in onto that north-western motorway. I think with the 2000 more that are just about to start construction, it's going to put this area under considerable pressure already, without releasing further land on top of that."

Mr Howard said the housing developments that were about to get under way in the north-west would be enough to fill the demand that was there.

And, when developments closer to the city kicked in, he said he expected that demand in areas that were a bit further out, like Huapai, would ease a bit.

"In saying that, anything that's built, we're having no trouble getting it sold. But the purchasers do have a good wide range of selection, so it is still a buyer's market out there."

Mr Howard said the only ones who might not be so happy about the changes were landbankers, or people who had held off selling their land, in the hope they would get bigger bucks in the future.

"They may regret that because they'll now realise they'll have to wait another 10 years longer before they get their higher price. Anyone who's sitting on an old orchard which has just become a headache for them may be wishing they'd taken the money last year and moved on."

Signature Homes chief executive Paul Bull said builders were already busy working on other developments and this move would not have too much impact.

"Us just being a house builder rather than a developer, we're going to continue to build homes for people in any part of Auckland where land is available.

"From our perspective, it makes sense that land is available in areas that have better, easier infrastructure options - schooling, transport, all that sort of stuff."

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