Investors need not apply at Auckland's McLennan housing development
A Housing New Zealand-led housing development in Auckland has ensured that home owners rather than investors get first dibs on its new homes.
Recognising that investors may pick up affordable houses and sell them on quickly for profit, the McLennan housing project in Takanini will only sell to "owner-occupiers" prepared to live in their home for at least a year.
In a $84 million investment, Housing New Zealand is master-planning a 24-hectare block of former Defence Force land, laying the foundations for just over 600 terraced and standalone houses over the next three years.
HNZ puts in the infrastructure, gains consent, and sells the sections on to builders, who keep to the plan's design and ownership covenants.
The first stage of 154 houses is largely sold, and some residents have already started to move in.
Work is about to begin on the second stage of 255 houses, where about 15 per cent will be social housing, either sold back to Housing New Zealand or to a community provider.
Another 100 will be "affordable," under $650,000. Those using the Government's HomeStart Grant must stay in the house for a longer period of three years and be either a citizen or permanent resident.
Housing New Zealand senior development manager Giles Tait said buyers were required to sign a form acknowledging they were aware of their obligations and HNZ reserved the right to check up on them, keeping an eye on things like property titles.
The ownership covenants were aimed at creating a mixed community of about 2000 people, he said.
"They're there to ensure we're encouraging ownership and there's a desire by the Housing New Zealand board to have an integrated development of social houses and owner-occupiers as opposed to all rental properties.
"And I suppose that builds a stronger community because more people are invested in it; one of the advantages that home ownership brings."
He said it was quite different to the majority of Housing New Zealand projects which were usually much smaller in scale and only social housing.
The McLennan site was also a huge "greenfields" site for Housing New Zealand, which was used to renewing existing sites.
Barfoot & Thompson is selling 23 of the McLennan houses. Its projects manager Matt Baird said a lot of thought had gone into ensuring it wasn't a "cookie-cutter" subdivision, and that the houses went to their target market.
The speed at which the builders were working also kept building costs from escalating.
He said the subdivision was a model of things to come.
"If there was no framework put in place by an overarching entity, this wouldn't happen in a commercial environment."
The development is close to a new retail block anchored by the Warehouse and two primary schools. Another piece of Defence land was bought by the Education Ministry, reportedly for a high school.