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Smaller, more affordable home research lab launched

Hon Dr Nick Smith
Minister of Housing
14 March 2014 Media Statement
Smaller, more affordable home research lab launched

Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today launched a new research and development initiative at Hobsonville in Auckland to foster innovation in more affordable homes.

“New Zealand needs to develop more affordable housing options and part of the solution is smart, smaller designs. This Small Home Test Lab research project is about trialling five new standard designs for smaller homes on smaller lots and testing their market acceptance and consumer feedback,” Dr Smith says.

“The average New Zealand house built over the past two decades has grown consistently larger, even though household size has declined. New Zealand homes are among the largest in the world and double that of European countries. This initiative is about leading a change of thinking to smaller and more affordable housing.”

The first three homes – a one-bedroom, a two-bedroom and a three-bedroom home – have now been built and were opened to the public today, along with the launch of a website that will make the plans and designs available to home buyers looking for housing options of this type. The Hobsonville Point homes are priced from $340,000 for one bedroom, $450,000 for two bedrooms and $485,000 for three bedrooms.

Dr Smith says the Small Home Test Lab is a further innovation within the Axis Series.

“These homes will be open to the public for six months, and plans and designs to help home buyers build quality smaller homes will be made available via a website. They're designed to help the industry build more affordable, compact homes without compromising quality.”

The project is supported by Auckland Council and this enabled planning approval to build these small homes within a residential development setting.

“Providing high-quality, smaller homes is one element in addressing the issue of affordable housing. Our market does not have a lot of experience building more compact homes, and this research project will help address this gap.

“These small homes wouldn’t suit everyone, but equally not everyone in the market needs a big family home of the type that has predominated new housing development in recent decades.

“The experience at Hobsonville Point shows that a growing number of home buyers are looking for more compact, but high quality homes with good community facilities. It’s important we provide diversity in the market.”

More information can be found at: www.axisseries.co.nz/lab.


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