Affordable housing firm sets up shop in shed in New Plymouth
The former site of a luxury yacht builder has been given a new lease of life making luxurious pre-fabricated homes.
Manor Build has taken over the shed at Port Taranaki that was once occupied by Fitzroy Yachts, which closed its doors in 2014.
The company, which has a site in Auckland, chose to make its HQ at Ocean View Parade, partly because of cheaper costs.
Its latest model - a $238,000 four-bedroomed portable property - was officially unveiled on Wednesday, with New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young cutting the ribbon in front of an invited audience.
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"It's really important to see innovation in building techniques, especially when facing housing and its affordability," he said, standing on the front steps of the firm's newest show home.
"I think there is a need for smaller, better designed homes in New Zealand as part of the affordable housing strategy."
The move to New Plymouth would cut the costs of delivery from $19,000 to $10,000, general manager Tim Suckling said.
Houses will be fully assembled before delivery and the show home took builders Matt Silby and Jonathan Megaw just four weeks to complete.
The homes will be sold over the southern half of the North Island, with the Auckland site concentrating on the top half.
"We only have the two builders," Suckling said.
"They're usually rotating between four homes at a time."
The company, which employs five people in New Plymouth and four in Auckland, claims it can help ease the country's building crisis, which has seen first-home buyers locked out of the market in other parts in the country, by slashing building times.
The homes are built under cover, so they are not disrupted by wet weather.
Steadily climbing costs have hit the housing market across the country, with no exception for Taranaki.
The latest Quotable Value figures show the average residential property value in New Plymouth went up 10 per cent from March last year, with the average home valued at $418,057.
Stratford has also seen healthy growth in the market with homes valued an average $234,368 - a 9.6 per cent increase during the same period.
And South Taranaki has hit the $200,000 mark, rising 7.7 per cent since last year.
Craig Oliver, owner of project and sales management solutions, The Project Guys, said Manor Build's newest show home would help buyers, who may be frightened by rising costs.
"The completed home will show people that bigger isn't always better when building new and that you can look at new perspectives when thinking of building as it doesn't always have to happen on-site."
While Suckling said the homes could help first-home buyers enter the market, he said the majority of clients in the region were those looking to lighten the load.
"Most of our customers are older and wanting to down-size."