Hutt City Council-owned property company Urban Plus Limited is experiencing high demand for its new developments with one sold out, over half of another under contract and a 27 dwelling development in the planning stage already receiving enquiries.
Bringing new property to market including affordable homes is a key part of Hutt City Council’s strategy to stimulate urban growth in the city.
Mayor Ray Wallace says developments like the ones led by Urban Plus are contributing to a current building boom in Lower Hutt, which is expecting to see an additional 1535 new dwellings built in the next 2-3 years. “It is an exciting time for new housing developments in Lower Hutt and great to see our city growing with more people wanting to live in our fantastic city.”
In what is a unique model, Urban Plus also contributes to housing growth by investing any profits in to developing subsidised rental accommodation for Lower Hutt’s elderly. Already this financial year it has grown its residential portfolio by seven units in Fairfield.
“The current level of demand for new housing is unprecedented with people jumping at the chance to become a home owner,” says Urban Plus Senior Development Manager Dan Moriarty.
Parkview at Avalon sold out earlier this year. There are 24 dwellings in the development, with one home already completed and seven now under construction.
The next Urban Plus project in the pipeline, Central Park on Copeland in central Hutt, is a 34 dwelling development comprising two and three-bedroom townhouses. Over half of the houses are under contract with first home buyers being the majority of purchasers. Five of the ten houses earmarked as affordable have already sold after being on the market for only a fortnight. “Ten houses at Central Park on Copeland have a set price of $550k allowing more people to enter the property market and grow their asset from there,” says Moriarty.
The Lane in Waterloo Lower Hutt, a subdivision featuring 27 modern townhouses is attracting strong buyer enquiries. Again, Urban Plus will look to release some of these at a discounted price to enable first home buyers a chance to get on the property ladder.
“The current level of demand for our properties demonstrates that there is a market for architecturally designed, low maintenance properties that are relatively affordable with modest sections compared to the traditional New Zealand family home. At between 80m2 and 90m2 first home buyers are telling us developments like Central Park on Copeland are the ideal property size for their modern lifestyles. With parks and reserves adjacent to each development there is still plenty of green space for families to enjoy the outdoors but not have any of the upkeep.”
Housing design which makes the best use of available land and locating developments close to amenities and public transport networks is a priority for Urban Plus.
Chief Executive Craig Walton says, “Higher density housing clearly allows cost savings in land, infrastructure and energy. Preserving green spaces in urban environments combined with higher density housing can also have a positive impact on communities. Well-designed housing developments have many social benefits including lower crime, greater safety and, through greater social connectedness, we see more vitality in our urban environments with people clustered together lessening the burden on transport networks and reducing emissions.
“In 2019 an urban location is seen as the preferred lifestyle choice for the majority of people. The key for Urban Plus is to be responsive to market preferences and bring more affordable properties to market through our new housing developments providing more choice for consumers.