NZ Govt Releases Additional Land in Auckland for Housing

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Friday, August 28th, 2015
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The New Zealand government and Auckland Council have added more land to a plan aimed at relieving the city’s property crisis as consents begin to pick up.

Eleven new areas have been added to the Auckland Housing Accord, an agreement drawn up in 2013 to open up land across the city for fast-track development of homes.

Of the 1600 potential homes proposed in the new tranche, about 900 are in Manukau, while central areas such as Ponsonby and Newmarket are looking at about 50 new dwellings each.

The new zones take the total of “Special Housing Areas” up to 97, and a possible total of about 47,000 new homes in the city over the next few years.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said consents in Auckland had risen to 10-year highs, with new builds hitting 8300 a year.

“The rate has grown at over 20 per cent per year since 2012, the longest and strongest period of growth ever,” Housing Minister Nick Smith said.

He said the accord was running slightly ahead of plan, with just short of 20,000 new dwellings receiving consents since it started.

The plan aimed to add 9000 homes in its first year, 13,000 in the second and 17,000 in the third.

“Activity so far has been centred on earthworks, infrastructure construction and subdivision, but we are starting to see house building ramp up as the development pipeline kicks in,” Auckland mayor Len Brown said.

He said further changes to the plan were still being looked at in order to potentially add more zones.

Affordable homes in the Special Housing Areas are given special consenting and approval processes to allow quicker construction.

Any home priced below 75 per cent of the Auckland median house price, $NZ735,000 ($A665,278) in July, is considered affordable under the scheme – but buildings of more than 15 homes, such as apartments, only need 10 per cent of homes to be affordable to qualify.

Earlier this week, the NZ Reserve Bank said new supply of housing in Auckland was “nowhere near fast enough to make a dent in the existing housing shortage” when considering booming immigration.

House prices in the city have jumped 24 per cent in the past year, compared with three per cent for the rest of the country.

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