The reasons why new houses cost so much

A new report focusing on the cost of new residential developments, commissioned by Fetcher Building, has some surprising findings.

“Residential land is the largest cost contributor to new housing development and the cost is highly variable between New Zealand and Australian cities”.


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Trust me on this

This article was originally posted in ‘The Hobson’ magazine March 2019 issue.

Long summer nights, barbecues, with a syrah or rose to hand. Life is good. No excess, no deprivation, and you have choice as to when and where you buy your alcohol. Unless you’re in West Auckland. Here, liquor supply is under the control of an entity called The Trusts.

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First Home Buyers – the time is now! ….ish

At least that’s the rhetoric I’m hearing now. It’s probably because sales are getting slower in the suburbs first home buyers cannot afford. The average house price in Mt Albert, Royal Oak and Long Bay have declined the most out of all suburbs in Auckland in the last six months. And yet in suburbs like Takapuna and Onehunga, the average price is increasing. This is probably to do with a general increase in dwellings on the market in these areas. But it does show that homes are still being sold. And given the plethora of grants available to First Home Buyers it’s no wonder some suburbs are still hot despite the Auckland housing marketing hitting an 11 year low. With initiatives like the Welcome Home Loan and Home Start Grants, houses are there for the taking.

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Taking advantage of the Auckland Unitary Plan: Minor Housing Units

You’ve heard all about how the AUP is great for property owners. Today we are going enlighten you on just how some of you can take advantage! We’re discussing subdivision around an existing minor housing unit (MHU). If you currently have a minor dwelling on your property and you’re not located in the Single House Zone, this could be for you.

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Who are we ‘planning’ for?

Over the last two years I have given an Unitary Plan presentation in almost every nook of the Auckland region. The presentation sets out the changes to that have occurred to our planning system. Ultimately, I outline what may occur on sites and suburbs. There is often a collective gasp when I tell them that some neighbourhoods may have triple the number of dwellings. The crowds are often very uneasy that five level apartment buildings may go up around town centres without required parking. Read more

Bureaucracy vs Brilliance – Is poor culture the problem

Although we’re frustrated with Council’s bureaucracy all year long, the lead up to Christmas really begins to test our patience. Thankfully, a wonderfully crafted article by Jim Bright of the Sydney Morning Herald has let us know we’re not alone in the world. He has perfectly articulated what it’s like to work through Council, but also what it means to be an innovator. Something that we aspire to be at Mt Hobson Group! Read more

10 thoughts on KiwiBuild from a potential ballot winner

We’ve gone from the quarter acre dream to the quarter house dream. And I’m not complaining. I know and accept that the quarter acre dream is a thing of the past, at least in Auckland. I’m okay with this. If I had an 80m2 shoe box with a bedroom, kitchen, lounge, bathroom, a car pad and maybe even a little front yard to eat my smashed avo on toast, I would be the happiest person in Auckland. And maybe with the help of KiwiBuild, probably one of the luckiest.

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Our Rates, My Pain

Over the last month or so you have read that Auckland Council has:

  1. Installed exspensive speed cameras and not commissioned them;
  2. Underestimated holiday pay to the tune of $20m;
  3. Charged $69,000 in building consent and water connection fees for 70m2 unit, then taken six months to issue the CCC and then;
  4. justified it all in a PR puff piece.

So really it’s just another month in the life of the long-suffering ratepayer. I have to admit job satisfaction has been low for the past few months. I am using this forum as a cathartic release. Read more

Stone throwing and glass houses don’t mix

Last week it was found that a small amount of exclusively ‘Made in New Zealand’ fashion brands had pieces of their collections that were not exclusively made in New Zealand.

According to the article WORLD were selling T-shirts that had a WORLD swing tag attached to it stating ‘Fabrique en Nouvelle Zelande’ or ‘made in New Zealand’. Read more

Indecision is worse than wrong decision

I am, of course, talking about the definitive decision to implement an Auckland fuel tax or Regional fuel tax. This will be implemented as early as July 1. With legislation currently moving through government to allow this to happen as well as an almost unanimous yes vote from Auckland councillors to pass the tax, the train is full steam ahead.

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