24 Feb Affordable homes | Auckland
Source: One News – February 2013
First home buyers in Auckland have been quick to snap up a limited release of so-called “affordable” homes at Hobsonville Point.
Nine of 11 as yet unfinished houses sold within hours of going on the market.
But some are questioning how affordable they really are.
Five of the houses are not finished and six are still on the drawing board, but first home buyers were on a mission.
They came from far and wide in search of affordable Auckland real estate.
“I just bought a house, made a hard decision,” said Michelle Smith, a happy buyer.
Mark Fraser of Hobsonville Land Company, which is developing the land, says the houses are affordable, for Auckland.
“I think in an Auckland context, for a new high quality home, yes they are affordable,” Fraser said.
At brand new Hobsonville Point that means between $465,000 and $485,000, prices that worry those looking out for Auckland’s poor.
The Salvation Army has been doing its sums too and says buyers need an income of at least $70,000 a year to secure a loan on one of the Hobsonville Point properties, which puts them well beyond the reach of the city’s low income families.
Up to 3000 homes will eventually be built on land that used to house Hobsonville Air Force base.
One fifth of the medium to high density development is for first time buyers who can prove they are citizens or permanent residents, have an annual household income of less than $120,000 gross and plan to live there for at least two years.
“It seems scary, but at the same time it’s just going to get worse so the sooner you can buy the better off you are,” Smith said.
Fraser said buyers are getting more than just a home.
“It’s the parks and the farmers market and the cafe and the ferry and the primary school and the high school – so the whole package is pretty attractive,” he said.
Around 20% of the homes to be built at Hobsonville Point over the next 10 to 15 years will be priced at up to $485,000, with half of these priced below $400,000, indexed to inflation, under a programme announced late last year.
The next homes in the development will be released in a few weeks.
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