Zone changes may be windfall for investors

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Auckland property investors may find the value of their portfolios increases sharply due to the city’s proposed zoning changes.

By The Landlord

Auckland Council has revealed its plans to rezone parts of the eastern and central Auckland suburbs for more townhouses and apartments.

This will push up the value of land in those areas.

Parts of South Auckland will also be rezoned to allow more density.

Many areas will lose their single house zoning, which requires just one house per section and instead become mixed housing urban zones, allowing more dense construction up to three storeys.

More than 75 per cent of the city will continue to be limited to two storeys, in the large lot, single house and mixed housing suburban zones.

Deputy mayor Penny Hulse has acknowledged the move will bump up land values in areas where owners are given licence to build more houses on their sections.

"I think we need to be honest about that, I don't think we need to duck and dive around the fact that there may be some windfalls for some people.

"When your land is rezoned and you have subdivision rights that you might not have had before it may increase the value of your property," she told media.

But she said the increase in land made available for higher-density developments should lead to more affordable housing in the longer term.

The council’s proposed changes to the terraced housing and apartment buildings zone would allow up to five storeys and in a limited number of locations, six or seven.

Terraced housing and apartment blocks are proposed for Otara, Mangere, Manurewa and Clendon Park.

Almost three-quarters of Glendowie will be rezoned as mixed housing.

Council said it wanted to achieve a quality, compact city where urban growth was primarily focused within the existing metropolitan area and within walking distances of town centres and urban facilities.

Resource consent requirements will still apply.

The Council’s proposals have been greeted with heated debate and opposition.

But many say intensification is necessary to address Auckland’s housing supply and affordability issues, as well as to enhance both its productivity and its liveability.

Auckland Property Investors Association president Andrew Bruce said the pressure in the Auckland housing market means it is best for the city to intensify around transport nodes, as suggested by the proposals.

“Investors should take note of where the Unitary Plan proposes to do this, keep an eye on developments and plan accordingly.”

Property Institute chief executive Ashley Church said Auckland needs densification and the Unitary Plan will allow for much more to occur.

This makes for opportunities for investors who have sizeable properties in areas that are set to be rezoned.

“The proposals mean that, for investors in a position to do so, it’s a no-brainer to sub-divide or redevelop large existing properties.”

Hearings on the zoning proposals will be held in March and April. No decisions on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan will be made until at least August.

See what is proposed for your suburb here.

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