Auckland's northern building boom
It's boom time.
Thousands of homes along with town centres and other facilities are coming on stream during the next few years.
Major developments worth millions happening around Kumeu-Huapai, Riverhead, Silverdale and Millwater, Orewa, Gulf Harbour and Warkworth will bring tens of thousands of residents to Rodney and the Hibiscus Coast.
New townships or town centres are under way at the nearby Westgate expansion in Massey North and Hobsonville, plus Millwater and Warkworth.
Supermarkets have opened or are planned, and retirement villages are expanding too.
Infrastructure such as roads, water, sewerage, gas and fibre optics are either in place or being developed for growth areas.
The developments will bring more pressure on roads, schools and some other facilities.
Several ratepayer and business representative groups are already voicing concern about increased traffic congestion and the lack of public transport.
The largest residential development in the area, Millwater, will house more than 10,000 residents with around 3500 homes planned.
Whangaparaoa and other parts of the Hibiscus Coast have pockets of development that will fulfil current demand in the area, because issues like roading, Penlink, and the lack of public transport have held growth back, Millwater marketing manager Warren Frogley says.
"We all know Hibiscus Coast is a magic spot, but even though the secret is out, people aren't coming here in their droves yet. The traffic flow needs to be dealt with."
The upside to the growth is more jobs, from construction through to service industries and the many spin-offs such growth brings.
Sections in many of the new areas are in the $400,000-plus range, yet interest is keen with residential lots selling before earthworks are completed. House and land packages start at $599,000.
More than half of the lots available have already sold on subdivisions around the Kumeu-Huapai and Riverhead area, for instance. Much of the land was previously rural, orchards in many cases, with other uses including various horticultural activities, farming, equestrian and lifestyle blocks.
Interest and demand are huge, developers say. One attraction in the Kumeu-Huapai to Riverhead area is the closeness to Auckland city and the nearly completed western ring route motorway system linking the North Shore with West and South Auckland.
Technology is also allowing more people to work from home.
Rodney MP Mark Mitchell says Rodney and the Hibiscus Coast have the land and ability to absorb the growth Auckland is experiencing.
"It's a beautiful area to live in with so much available for people."
Mitchell says while the development is a positive sign, investment required for the needed infrastructure is also critical.
"Schools, health facilities, roading - everything that is needed to support the growth has to be developed and brought online in the right time. I want to see new businesses coming to the area, jobs created for people here so they don't have to travel out of the community to get to work."
The speed of development is also improving with a focus both at central and local government to streamline the resource management act and cut red tape.
More than 800 sections in Cabra Developments' pipeline
Cabra Developments in Orewa is developing or selling down more than 530 sections around Rodney and it has plans for 270 more in the works, Cabra project and sales manager Duncan Unsworth says.
It is developing 61 sections at its Portage Estate site in Riverhead.
''We have completed 40 out of the 61 with the balance under construction at the moment.
"There are about 10 houses under construction at present,'' Unsworth says.
At its Mahurangi Ridge site in Snells Beach it sold the last of 82 developed sections six weeks ago and three quarters of the sections have already been built on.
Cabra's Woodridge Estate development on Wade River Rd in Whangaparaoa will see some 110 new sections, Unsworth says.
Stage one is under construction and consists of 42 sections due for completion in six to eight weeks.
''That is just construction completion and then we have to go through the process of getting council sign off and obtaining titles,'' he says.
''They will be ready to build on towards the end of the year,'' Unsworth says.
Completion of the overall subdivision should be towards the end of 2015.
Cabra's 62 sections in Beachwood Estate at Hatfields Beach have been completed.
''There is house building going on there but the actual subdivision is finished and everything is sold,'' Unsworth says.
At Matua Residential Estate in Huapai, Cabra has almost finished stage one which consists of 68 sections, just under half of which have sold.
''Ultimately it is about 280 sites so we'll just carry on with the subdivision over the next couple of years,'' Unsworth says.
Cabra also hopes to develop about 150 sections in the Huapai Triangle Special Housing Area in Kumeu.
''There is a plan change process going through at the moment and we hope to lodge our resource consent within a couple of months,'' Unsworth says.
Last week, the company also launched an application to develop 120 sections off Grand Drive in Orewa.