Cheap starter homes with style

STARTERS: Stephen Smith's winning design, top, and a Tony Koia that won one of the categories at the Beehive awards dinner last night.
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STARTERS: Stephen Smith's winning design, top, and a Tony Koia that won one of the categories at the Beehive awards dinner last night.

The Government has unveiled its plan to provide cheaper houses to the masses after a nationwide design competition.

The winning starter home design was revealed yesterday at a Beehive function and would cost $168,000 almost half the average cost of new houses.

The design by Auckland architect Stephen Smith is to be built in Mangere later this year by Housing New Zealand and displayed to the public.

The Starter Home Design Competition was run by the Building and Housing Department as part of a government push to make housing more affordable for first-home buyers.

There were 140 entries from architects, designers and those in the building industry, in a competition aimed at finding housing solutions with limited resources.

The average house built in New Zealand in recent years cost between $300,000 and $350,000, the department said. The new design could be used by anyone wanting an affordable starter home.

Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson said the competition showed starter homes could offer superb design and be affordable.

The judging panel said Mr Smith's design had a striking contemporary appearance that would fit into many neighbourhoods. It also used low-maintenance materials and would work well as an individual house or as a cluster of similar designs.

The design allowed for it to be built in stages, with two bedrooms in the first stage and the option of adding a third bedroom and internal access garage.

The Dominion Post