Affordable housing estate on radar

22:37, Jan 28 2013

The largest affordable housing estate in Auckland could be built in Otahuhu if plans are approved.

Property developer Redwood Group is negotiating with Auckland Council to build 450 to 500 townhouses at 33 Panama Rd.

The houses, which would sell for between $350,000 and $450,000, are aimed at addressing a lack of affordable housing in the region, Redwood Group director Andrew Showler said.

"In a few years time there's going to be a 20,000 shortage of housing units in New Zealand and house prices are going up because of the shortage. Unless more housing units go up, the prices are going to keep going up."

A recent report shows Auckland's housing is among the most unaffordable in the world, with the median price topping $500,000 in the past few months.

Each three-bedroom unit will cover about 130 square metres and be of "high quality and design", Showler said.

The architecture firm Studio Pacific, which also designed the Beaumont Quarter buildings near Victoria Park and the Halsey Apartments at the Viaduct Basin, has designed the units.

The 10.3 hectare Panama Rd site is listed by property valuer Quotable Value as having a $16.5 million valuation, of which $15.5m is land. It is currently used by Zealandia Horticulture as a seedling nursery.

The plan "at this stage" is to move the nursery next door to another Zealandia nursery on Phillip Rd in Alfriston, director Graham Windross said.

Redwood Group has not yet sought consent from the council and said it intends to undertake public consultation in coming months.

"Our target market is potentially people in the local area who are trying to move from being renters into first-time home buyers, such as young families," Showler said.


Manukau Courier