Uni­tary Plan prov­ing prof­itable for some

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - SU­SAN EDMUNDS

Auck­land’s new uni­tary plan is al­ready pay­ing div­i­dends for some home­own­ers.

New data from Homes.co.nz shows ar­eas that are marked to be­come high-den­sity zones un­der the new plan are sell­ing at a clear price pre­mium as de­vel­op­ers eye up their sub­di­vi­sion po­ten­tial.

The plan was signed off last year, although it was not un­til Fe­bru­ary that the High Court ruled in favour of some of the plan’s new high-den­sity zones.

Prop­erty web­site Homes.co.nz shows the changes are al­ready hav­ing an im­pact.

More than half the prop­er­ties sold within the new high­den­sity zones have changed hands for more than one-anda-half times their CVs.

Only 31.7 per cent of prop­er­ties in ‘‘sin­gle-house’’ zones are get­ting that pre­mium.

‘‘It’s be­com­ing clear that the Uni­tary Plan is hav­ing a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the wealth of those lucky enough to own a sub-di­vid­able prop­erty in a high-den­sity zone,’’ Homes.co.nz spokesman Jeremy O’Han­lon said.

He said buy­ers who did not have plans to sub­di­vide should be wary about buy­ing places in higher-den­sity ar­eas be­cause they would pay a pre­mium.

He said Homes.co.nz was adding uni­tary plan in­for- ma­tion to its prop­erty listings.

ASB chief economist Nick Tuf­fley said the plan changes would put a floor un­der the per­square-me­tre cost of land in Auck­land.

‘‘But at the same time it does en­cour­age that land to be used more ef­fi­ciently,’’ Tuf­fley said.

With­out greater den­sity, the cost of in­ner-city land would in­crease any­way as peo­ple sought prop­erty close to the city, he said.

‘‘Free­ing up land and mak­ing sure there is ad­e­quate in­fra­struc­ture [to build] helps take away price ten­sion that has been there for quite some time.’’

Gareth Kier­nan, chief fore­caster at In­fo­met­rics, said the plan changes were nec­es­sary for the city.

‘‘Land prices were al­ready get­ting too high to en­able peo­ple to own tra­di­tional-sized sec­tions,’’ Kier­nan said.

‘‘The changes in the Uni­tary Plan have been a nec­es­sary step along the way and should re­sult in lower prop­erty-price-toin­come ra­tios, al­beit recog­nis­ing that the re­duced av­er­age amount of land per dwelling could ef­fec­tively be in­ter­preted as a re­duc­tion in ‘qual­ity’.

PETER MEECHAM/FAIR­FAX

ASB chief economist Nick Tuf­fley says the plan changes will put a floor un­der the per-square-me­tre cost of land in Auck­land.

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