Developer hoping sales will pick up

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:00 08/11/2012

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The economic downturn has slowed sales at Himatangi Beach's Sandown Park development, but the scheme's developer is hopeful business will pick up in the summer months.

The multimillion-dollar, 190-section development, which also promises a large sports field and car park, has been in the pipeline since 2002, with 24 of the 34 developed sections being sold since then.

Developer Murray Hastie said sales were plentiful when the subdivision opened, but the economic downturn had made trading "like pushing sand uphill".

But, he could see improvements to New Zealand's business climate, and is hopeful more people will buy land this Christmas.

"We've had a number of inquiries from people who want to develop . . . we've also sold some sections [recently], so there is some interest out there."

The subdivision was being sold off in 10 stages, with stage one completed, stage two nearly completed and work, including land preparation, beginning on stage three.

A total of four houses have been built, a fifth is under construction and plans are afoot to build a sixth house.

The subdivision has a restrictive covenant, which sets standards regarding the use of the land and the size and type of buildings built there.

This was to ensure a certain level of housing in the park, Mr Hastie said. "The five houses we have in the subdivision are all very nice, top-scale houses and that's what we're aiming to get, a good standard of housing rather than hodge-podge gottages [part garages, part cottages].

"Yes, it will cut out some people, but for those people that have bought their homes, they will be very happy that they're not going to have a gottage-type building put next door to them."

Mr Hastie, who has lived in Himatangi since 1967, said he kept an eye on what happened in the village.

"Further around in the town, another subdivision was built 20 years ago and it has a real mixture of houses . . . we don't want Sandown Park to look like that.

"We're not setting ridiculously high standards, we're trying to keep them in a middle-of-the-road situation."

A section retails for $69,000, which is $10,000 cheaper than the original selling price.

"We didn't have to drop all that much because our sections were reasonably-priced right from the word go," he said.

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- Manawatu Standard

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