There are some exciting new apartment buildings about to completed – Park Residences at 35 Albert Street and Victoria Residences right opposite the Sky Tower. Together the buildings will contain around 500 apartments – we think they’ll be about half owner-occupied and about half rented out by investors.
With over 20,000 apartments in Auckland’s central city, that’s a drop in the bucket and
we could do with a lot more. The housing shortage isn’t going anywhere; we’re failing to keep up and slipping further behind each year as construction costs skyrocket and land remains pricey.
Will the Kiwibuild scheme help? Housing Minister Phil Twyford is pledging to build 100,000 new homes in a decade, with half located in Auckland and a good chunk at affordable prices. Fantastic to see such enthusiasm, but it’s tricky to envision this being executed smoothly. If you’ve tried to find a reliable builder in Auckland recently, you’ll know that finding the workers will be one of the big hurdles. The timeline is also tight: has Twyford tried to get anything approved by the Auckland Council recently? He has put the budget for this project at $2 billion (yes, that would be only $20,000 per house, but he’s planning to “recycle that money over and over”. He’s like one of those people on Grand Designs who has a budget and a timeline they are determined to stick to, while Kevin McCloud looks incredulous and everyone at home is laughing.
If he manages to pull it off – on time and on budget – he’ll deserve a knighthood. But we’ve got some serious doubts. Hopefully he doesn’t decide to project manage it himself like so many other
people on Grand Designs…