First home buyers in South Auckland are set to benefit as one of the country’s largest residential developments accelerates the construction of hundreds of new houses.
Over half a billion dollars worth of housing at the Hunua Views subdivision, part of the 361 hectare mixed-use precinct Drury South Crossing, was originally scheduled for completion over the course of six years.
A chronic shortage of affordable housing in the region has seen this completion timeline now brought forward to 2024 — two years earlier than first planned.
Demand for the homes has been so high, sales managers for build partners at the development say they are not being marketed online — having been sold off-plan to a waiting list of buyers who have pre-registered their interest.
Classic Group director Peter Cooney says the new construction time frame will allow hundreds of first home buyers to get a foothold in the property market.
“This timeline has been pulled forward to meet market demand and help address the housing shortage in a city that desperately needs quality affordable housing,” Cooney says.
“This community was designed from its very inception to be as accessible as possible to a range of people, including first home buyers.”
The third of 10 construction stages is set to begin this month, providing 62 families with completed houses by the middle of next year. Under the advanced construction programme, a further 200 houses will be built by the end of 2023.
Classic Developments development manager Scott Keene says their expectation was that many of the houses would be purchased by some of the 5000-plus workers who will eventually be employed by businesses to be built in the new industrial area.
“Since planning for this development began we have seen a convergence of economic factors which has created a shortage of affordable housing in the Auckland region.
“The high demand for the homes in the first two stages of construction caught us by surprise as business at Drury South Crossing is not yet underway.
“What we can see from the sales data is around half of those purchasing properties are first home buyers.
“We know that many of them are being priced out of the market further north, and are buying in Hunua Views as a way of getting an achievable foothold in the property market,” he says.
Keene says national supply contracts have meant they are well insulated from the building product supply shortages that have impacted parts of the construction industry.
He says they are applying for resource consents for larger stages which allows for overlapping consenting and construction phases.
Drury South Crossing chief executive Stephen Hughes says the 50ha residential development has been carefully planned over a number of years.
He says consents are already in place, and the project is not being advanced under the Covid-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020.
“When completed in 2026, Drury South Crossing will be home to around 2600 new residents, and employ thousands more workers in a new purpose-built industrial area.
“Over a decade of planning has gone into this project with 90 hectares being dedicated to new community facilities, including a new childcare centre, recreation areas, wetlands, parks, walking and cycling tracks.
“A number of environmental considerations have been also made as well, with the planting of half a million native plants and trees currently underway.
“Every house will also feature a zinc-free roof and rain water tank which holds water runoff before being treated in our stormwater management system — helping to mitigate the impact of large volumes of water reaching local streams,” he says.