4 April, 2011
Within 15 years Auckland will have no room left for new housing according to a property analyst.
It will be impossible to build new stand-alone houses on more than 400 square metres of land as early as 2023 says Lisa Phillips, a director of Auckland-based company Erskine+Owen.
After that many Aucklanders will be forced to live in terraced houses and apartments with shared common outdoor spaces.
“Prices will surge as more and more people compete for an ever dwindling supply of dwellings,” she says.
And it is not just room to build that may cause a shortage of housing in Auckland.
Ms Phillips says fact is that red tape and restrictive rules on land use means that growing in as-yet developed areas is not as simple as it sounds.
“There is a ring fence around Auckland called the Metropolitan Urban Limit that separates the urban from the rural.
“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.”
She 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.”
It appears Ms Phillips warning is being echoed by many.
Public meetings are currently underway discussing Auckland’s major planning document, the Auckland Plan, which is set to be released in December.
A discussion document on the plan reveals Auckland had “already fallen short by approximately 10,000 new homes – the equivalent of a town the size of Blenheim” over the past three years.
It says the Auckland Plan needs to be “framed in a way that can cope with change and uncertainty”.
This is because of the projected need in Auckland for 330,000 new dwellings by 2040, and the possibility of falling short of meeting this target, together with the “very real prospect” that we may become more attractive to migrants than projected.