The Government’s Hobsonville Point development reached a landmark 1000 homes occupied this week, celebrated with a visit to the latest residents by Social Housing Minister Amy Adams and local MP (and deputy prime minister) Paula Bennett.
HLC Ltd (ex-Hobsonville Land Co Ltd) chief executive Chris Aiken told the ministers 409 of new homes sold had gone to first-homebuyers and were in the “affordable” category, priced under $550,000. The average price across the development was $730,000.
Another 630 new homes are at various stages of production.
HLC has masterplanned the former Hobsonville airbase, but all the subdivisions on it are being carried out by private developers. The 1000th home, on Squadron Drive, is by Jalcon Homes.
Ms Adams, who’s also minister responsible for social investment, brought a different perspective to the housing role from her predecessor’s in a city where construction hasn’t kept pace with net immigration, let alone internal population growth.
Nick Smith, as housing, building & construction minister (and he retains the last 2 of those titles), was all about getting construction numbers up, and never sounded like he wanted to put that in context.
Ms Adams was pleased to see the 167ha of Hobsonville Point being turned into a vibrant community: “It’s not just about the new houses we’re building, it’s about the quality of community.”
Many of the homes at Hobsonville Point fit HLC’s Axis series design of cheaper, highly efficient construction, and Ms Adams said that raising the standard in this way would have an effect far beyond Hobsonville Point.
She also noted that, although the Government had instituted a programme of putting Crown-owned land to more productive use, including housing development, its holdings represented only 5% of housing land in Auckland.
Crown land is being used to lift construction output, and Ms Adams said that was a strategy that could be adopted in future downturns, to help the sector meet capacity requirements.
She also visited a new $12 million transitional housing complex on Puhinui Rd, Manukau, yesterday, and put that spurt of emergency accommodation into perspective: “When we think about social housing, it’s not just the number of houses [or flats or motel beds]. You have to think: Is there a market of houses we can move people back into?”
Hobsonville Point is one of many developments around the Auckland which have begun to lift construction from the low point in 2011, when only 13,500 consents for new homes were issued nationally. In the last 12 months, 10,200 consents have been issued in Auckland alone.
The 72-unit Puhinui Rd facility will help house up to 560 families/year, out of an estimated 3660 Auckland families and 8600 nationally who would need transitional housing in a year.
Attribution: HLC & ministerial releases, Hobsonville visit.