Active baby boomers want apartments
Baby boomers are contributing to rocketing demand for apartments in Auckland.
The latest building consent figures released by Statistics New Zealand on January 30 reflect the number of apartments going up in Auckland.
In 2013 the number of building consents issued in New Zealand reached a six-year high with 21,300 new dwellings signed off.
In December more than 390 of the 473 apartments consented nationwide were in Auckland.
Virgil Roberts has been in the property business for 30 years and says his clients are no longer city slickers looking for a home close to work.
He is the brains behind The Xanadu development in Freemans Bay, which is aimed at ‘‘active baby boomers’’ who want to live among like-minded 50-plus neighbours.
Mr Roberts came up with the concept about three years ago after hearing countless complaints from people who wanted to ditch cumbersome family homes but were not ready for retirement villages.
The 62-year-old CBD resident says his personal experience of apartment living has been invaluable.
‘‘It’s for people in the savvy baby boomer age range. They’re my peers. We’re active ones.’’
Grey Power Auckland president Anne-Marie Coury says tailoring apartments for over-50s is a bright idea because there is a real gap in the market.
It dispels the myth that only students and poor people want to live in high density accommodation, she says.
‘‘There’s a huge need there. A lot of seniors are in big homes which are too hard to maintain but they just can’t see an alternative.
‘‘We can’t just keep relying on the idea that people can just get shut up in retirement villages.’’
Iconicity managing director Paul Reid says demand for apartments has been increasing in the past couple of years. His company is a large private buyer and seller of apartments in Auckland city.
He says people looking to buy apartments to live in themselves, instead of as investments, are contributing to the rise.
Areas on the fringe of the CBD like Freemans Bay, Grey Lynn and Ponsonby are becoming more popular because house prices are so expensive, Mr Reid says.
‘‘Demand has definitely come up and baby boomers seem to be the real growth market. A lot of people are now looking at it as a step up on the property ladder to get a place of their own.’’
Busy business: Virgil Roberts is working on a range of apartment developments in central Auckland.