Ryan and Sarah Webb got two new additions to their lives this year - a house and a baby.
After an unsuccessful search to find an established family home in their price range the Webbs decided to buy a new three-bedroom house in the first part of the Hobsonville Point development for $610,000.
"Before we bought we were looking mainly on the North Shore but for what we were willing to spend we would have had to do some work to the house," Mrs Webb says.
"It might have only been some painting but when you buy a brand new house that's something you don't have to worry about.
"It needed to be somewhere pretty central and a place that we wouldn't outgrow."
Hobsonville Point is home to the first two schools in New Zealand which are being constructed under a public-private partnership and Mrs Webb says having them close will make life much easier when their son gets older. "We came to look at this place three or four times before we decided to buy it. I think it's really important for people to do their research and understand the market," she says.
"A house is an investment and we knew this place would only grow in value as more of the developments are made."
Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford says Auckland is in a serious housing crisis and while the 2500 houses being built in Hobsonville are a good start they are not affordable for everyone.
"Right now we are building 10,000 fewer houses than we need to each year.
"The housing problem is not so much with those who have the money to buy a house for half a million dollars, it's with those who are trying to scrape together a deposit to buy a house for $350,000 and there should have been more of those in Hobsonville," he says.
When construction on Hobsonville Point began in 2005 Housing Minister Phil Heatley said up to 100 homes would be kept aside for purchase by first home buyers with government assistance under the Gateway Housing Initiative.
But in May it was announced that only 17 would be included.
Mr Heatley says that was because low interest rates make it easier to get a mortgage.
"The Gateway Housing Initiative was designed to support home ownership at a time when deposit requirements were tightened and house prices were rising. Market conditions have changed, with bank loan-to-value mortgage requirements relaxed, and interest rates are low, which reduces the cost of servicing a mortgage."
Mrs Webb says if the Gateway scheme had been available they may have taken it up but the houses included were mostly two- bedroom, too small for them.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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