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Quarter Acre Dream All But Over for Aucklanders

Quarter Acre Dream All But Over for Aucklanders

Auckland will face a large scale housing crisis within the next 15 years according to a leading property analyst.

Lisa Phillips, a director of Auckland-based company Erskine+Owen, says under the region’s current growth strategy, Auckland will be at capacity by 2026. For some pockets of Auckland, that capacity could be reached even sooner – in just seven years.

Phillips says that over the next 20 years Auckland will grow by the entire population of Wellington, but to accommodate everyone Auckland will need more than 200,000 households - 30,000 more than its current capacity.

She says the ability to create new stand-alone houses on more than 400 square metres of land will become virtually impossible by as early as 2023. After that many Aucklanders will be forced to live in terraced houses and apartments with shared common outdoor spaces.

Phillips says this is where the flow-on effects will be realised. “Prices will surge as more and more people compete for an ever dwindling supply of dwellings,” she says.

Phillips says while a bird’s-eye view of Auckland will tell you that there’s plenty of room to grow, the fact is that red tape and restrictive rules on land use means that growing in as-yet developed areas isn’t as simple as it sounds.

“There is a ring fence around Auckland called the Metropolitan Urban Limit that separates the urban from the rural,” she says.

“To bust into the other side of the limit could take up to five years of applications and consents. Then there are issues around who owns the land and then they might not want to sell it.”

Phillips says Christchurch’s earthquake and required rebuild could also compound the problems for Auckland homeowners. “Construction activity is already at historic lows along with a down-sized building industry. There simply may not be enough capacity to go around. This may further hinder the speed at which Auckland can respond to its burgeoning demand for housing.”

For more information about Erskine+Owen visit

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