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Large tract of Blenheim housing development land on market

Media Release
Large tract of housing development land placed on the market for sale in Blenheim

A substantial chunk of residential development land on Blenheim’s suburban boundary - zoned for the creation of up to 39 new home sections – has been placed on the market for sale.

The flat and largely undeveloped 2.9 hectare site at 157 – 159 Muller Road is zoned urban residential 2 under Marlborough District Council’s plans. Blenheim-based resource management consultancy Ayson Survey + has already drawn up potential subdivision plans for the form farm property.

The firms’ proposed subdivision of the greenbelt site would see a resulting new access road servicing the new sections, link up Muller Road with Tavera Street. Both cul-de-sacs are currently ‘dead end’ streets.

The Muller Road landholding is currently occupied by just two modest dwellings – one built in the 1970s and the other in 1991. Under Ayson Survey +’s proposed section and roading layout, both of the existing homes would remain, while some old farm buildings would be demolished to make way for more efficient land use.

In addition to connecting Muller Road with Tavera Street, the new 16-metre-wide road would loop around the northern portion of what will be the new residential enclave.

The 2.9 hectare site is being marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Marlborough, with tenders closing at 4pm on November 2. Bayleys Marlborough salesperson Andy Poswillo said the landholding was coming onto the market at a time when housing affordability was becoming an issue for many first-home buyers in Blenheim.

“It’s entirely feasible that subdivision of this former farm into residential plots could see the resulting 39 sections come onto the market for somewhere around the $200,000 mark,” Mr Poswillo said.

“Add on the cost of constructing a brand new comfortable single-level dwelling, and young families can now look at getting into the Blenheim property market for under $500,000. That’s considerably lower than many of the new-build house and land packages being touted around the city right now, which are being marketed for upwards of $600,000.”

Blenheim-based home builder Peter Ray Homes is currently advertising its 145 square metre three-bedroom/two bathroom family dwelling option from $262,000. The new-build home comes complete with separate dining and living areas, and two garaging.

Mr Poswillo said the land being sold by Bayleys would sustain section sizes of between 400 – 870 square metres – with most at the more compact end of the scale.

His comments align with a Government report into residential land development and housing affordability, which cited the importance of new suburban landholdings being opened up for residential development at a more affordable ‘component’ cost.

The Housing affordability inquiry report – compiled by the New Zealand Productivity Commission – highlighted that the term ‘housing’ actually encompassed both the land, and house-building components of the property value equation.

“Section prices have grown more quickly than house prices over the last 20 years – indicating that appreciating land prices have been a key driver of house price inflation in New Zealand,” the Housing affordability inquiry report states.

“This suggests a shortage of residential land in places where people want to live.
Policy and planning practices may be constraining the supply of residential land.

“A major challenge ahead is to improve land release and planning approval processes so that affordability considerations are integrated fully into spatial planning.”

A site investigation report and separate geotech’ report into the Muller Road landholding have already been undertaken on the land, and Mr Poswillo said both of these would be made available to prospective purchasers.

Mr Poswillo said that a quick sale of the Muller Road development site would “set the ball in motion” for what he hoped would be an expedient construction programme which could see homes being built in the enclave as early as this time next year – subject to the creation of roading, installation of utility services to sections boundaries, and issuance of land titles.

His views were mirrored in the New Zealand Productivity Commission’s report, which highlighted that administrative local bodies such as Marlborough District Council held the key to ensuring a smooth pathway through the residential property development consenting process.

“Councils have a major influence on all stages of house construction as they are responsible for urban planning – including the release of land for development and zooming decisions, providing or arranging for the provision of infrastructure to land that is to be developed, issuing building consents, and ensuring compliance with the building code,” said the report.

“Constraints on the release of new residential land create scarcity, limiting housing choice, and increasing house prices.”

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