Home dream comes true
As property values in Auckland began to soar last year, Simon Matheson slowly saw his dream of owning his own home ebb away.
When the 28-year-old decided to move back in with his parents to start seriously saving for a house he couldn't have imagined how hard it was going to be.
After looking at properties in and out of West Auckland and researching home loan programmes including the Government's Welcome Home Loan scheme, he nearly gave up.
"I was watching the news every night and thinking I'm going to be at home forever," he says.
"I pretty much looked at everything but there was nothing I could do on my own, I would have needed help.
"It didn't look like it was going to happen."
That all changed in October last year after he did some research into an apartment at Hobsonville Point's new Brickworks development.
The unit is one of 500 Axis Series houses, including 12 apartments earmarked for first home buyers at Hobsonville Point.
Five building companies associated with that development must sell 20 percent of their dwellings for $485,000 or less.
Demand for the scheme has been so popular companies say they are having to use a ballot system to decide on the recipients.
But Hobsonville Land Company sustainability manager Katja Lietz says while applications for most Axis Series houses have been oversubscribed, interest in the apartments wasn't as strong.
"Which is really interesting and we've found ourselves wondering why as well," she says.
"First home buyers might be younger and unsure about the apartments.
"It could be they might be thinking about starting a family and thinking about whether they want to be in one."
Others may have bought an apartment outside of the scheme, unaware the option was available to them, she says.
Mr Matheson hadn't thought about living in an apartment before but coupled with the location the option seemed ideal, he says.
"Just looking at the plans I think the area is going to rocket.
"I love it. It's close to my family and my football club, there's a ferry, a restaurant and hopefully one day a bar.
"Everybody I talk to about it is just raving about the area."
Mr Matheson purchased a north-facing unit with a balcony for $349,000.
He had to pay 10 per cent up front with another 10 per cent due when construction is completed early next year.
Mr Matheson is looking forward to moving in.
"It's going to be awesome. I wish I could have done it earlier."