With continued pressure on housing stock Aucklanders are increasingly turning to purchasing apartments ‘off the plans’, says the city’s largest real estate agent Barfoot & Thompson.
The company’s projects division, which provides a specialised end-to-end sales service to quality residential developers, is reporting rapid growth in the popularity of buying properties ahead of completion.
“Not only are there now more quality options available for sale than in the past, more people are showing interest in this method of securing a new home,” explains Director Kiri Barfoot.
“This is particularly the case for higher-end apartment complexes in the city and fringe, backed by reputable developers.”
Taking examples from four of Auckland’s most recent apartment developments marketed by Barfoot & Thompson over the last 12 months, the company says the evidence is in the speed at which properties like this are being snapped up.
“We now typically sell between 20 and 28 per cent of all stock in a yet-to-be-built complex within the first month of the property coming to market.
“Across these projects are quality properties ranging from as little as $350,000 to multi-million dollar apartments, all in great locations in and around the city.
“These are proving attractive to a wide range of buyers including first-timers keen on a great location and more manageable mortgage, executives who want to be closer to work, and baby-boomers opting for a high-end lock-and-leave lifestyle.”
A prime example is Wynyard Central, the first residential development for the rejuvenated Wynyard Quarter. When the development broke ground in October this year after only seven months on the market, Barfoot & Thompson had already secured buyers for well over 60% of the apartments. Meanwhile its neighbour, the affluent 132 Halsey had sold nearly 80% of its multimillion dollar apartments by ground breaking.
Ms Barfoot also highlights that while the city has seen a surge in planned residential construction over the past couple years, the ‘off the plans’ trend is holding strong even in the face of greater supply. “For example, 25% of the 161 apartments available in The Antipodean have sold since listing only four weeks ago, averaging a sale per day.
Construction is yet to start on the Beach Rd development, with an occupying date currently set for March 2018.
“While buying off the plans can be daunting, it can also offer benefits well worth considering in this market,” says Ms Barfoot.
“With demand still exceeding supply in Auckland, this process allows buyers to secure a property early, while also taking advantage of time to build up their savings, or sell their existing home.”
For first home buyers in Auckland, apartments bought off the plans for under $550,000 can also meet the criteria for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant.
Barfoot & Thompson’s guide for buyers:
Read more about buying off the plans.