Build­ing ac­tiv­ity on the rise

Manawatu Standard - Property Weekly - - Front Page - He­len Mays

When you get on an elec­tric pow­ered tread­mill at the gym, you’ve got to move briskly and be pay­ing close at­ten­tion or pretty soon you’ll find your­self flat on your back, bright red with em­bar­rass­ment. The prop­erty mar­ket is prov­ing to be quite sim­i­lar; keep up with the speed of change or risk be­ing thrown off and un­able to re­mount.

The pace of build­ing new homes has in­creased in cos­mopoli­tan Palmer­ston North and greater Manawatu as in­ter­est comes from savvy lo­cals, plus in­vestors look­ing out­side Auck­land Welling­ton and Christchurch.

‘‘They ap­pre­ci­ate the value for money avail­able in Palmer­ston North, Ash­hurst and Feild­ing,’’ says Trevor Low of GJ Gard­ner, ‘‘and we’re also see­ing build­ing ac­cel­er­ate down into Horowhenua, Waitarere Beach and Fox­ton as Trans­mis­sion Gully goes ahead.’’

Trevor says they have seen as much as a 40 per cent in­crease in busi­ness over the last year be­cause of low in­ter­est rates and de­mand from first home own­ers and in­vestors.

‘‘Take Feild­ing for ex­am­ple where you can get re­ally good value for money. It’s a great town­ship and only 15 min­utes drive to Palmer­ston North. With the mat­u­ra­tion of many peo­ple’s Ki­wisaver ac­counts and maybe qual­i­fy­ing for a home starter loan, sud­denly they can af­ford a new build.’’

Trevor adds that it’s not good luck but good man­age­ment that has seen GJ Gard­ner con­tin­u­ing to sup­ply good value and a quality build in a timely man­ner.

Fowler Homes has a sim­i­lar tale of in­creased de­mand from out­side in­vestors.

Fran­chise owner Shane Walker says a lack of good quality sec­ond­hand houses awak­ens peo­ple to the pos­si­bil­ity of spend­ing their money wisely on some­thing cus­tom built to suit their spe­cific re­quire­ments.

‘‘It’s be­come a much more vi­able op­tion and long term bet­ter in­vest­ment to build than ren­o­vate, when you con­sider hav­ing to retrofit all the dou­ble glaz­ing, in­su­la­tion etcetera.’’

Shane says they are busy build­ing in Palmer­ston North and have also con­structed in Bulls, San­son, Fox­ton, Waitarere Beach and Levin. Fowler Homes has also seen an in­crease in de­mand from the Welling­ton re­gion thanks to Trans­mis­sion Gully.

Hav­ing quick ac­cess to Welling­ton and the Hutt Val­ley makes build­ing along the western coast­line much more at­trac­tive. Shane agrees the 45 years plus de­mo­graphic has seen the long term po­ten­tial of sell­ing their cap­i­tal city prop­er­ties and get­ting bet­ter value for money out­side Greater Welling­ton.

Fowler Homes has also seen an in­crease in peo­ple build­ing on life­style prop­er­ties.

Shane sug­gests they may have owned the sec­tions for a while but the de­mand for hous­ing and the eco­nomic cli­mate is mak­ing build­ing a new house a good op­tion.

Mort­gage rates are low and prop­erty val­ues are in­creas­ing due to sort sup­ply, mak­ing build­ing a new home a good in­vest­ment.

‘‘What we’re all need­ing is more sec­tions, new sub­di­vi­sions to keep up with de­mand,’’ Shane con­curs.

Oc­cu­py­ing them­selves more lo­cally is Palmer­ston North’s long­est stand­ing build­ing com­pany Ja­pac Homes.

Ja­pac has main­tained a steady pace build­ing on avail­able sec­tions and in-fills but over the last six months own­ers Paul and Ja­nine Hay­dock say busi­ness has gone through the roof.

‘‘We’ve seen eas­ily a 40 per cent in­crease in busi­ness and now have 20 houses on the go,’’ says Paul Hay­dock.’’There’s a real mix­ture of peo­ple com­ing to the city in­clud­ing some from Christchurch and sev­eral from Auck­land.’’

The Christchurch earthquakes have seen some peo­ple re­turn­ing home to Manawatu and oth­ers find­ing em­ploy­ment here in Palmer­ston North. ‘‘We’re build­ing a house for an Auck­land cou­ple at the mo­ment and they’re very happy with a brand new Ja­pac house and sec­tion at around $500K. They would have paid twice as much for it in Auck­land and they’ve still got change from their own Auck­land house sale to live on.’’

The open­ing of the new Woodgate sub­di­vi­sion on Fitzher­bert Ave East plus sec­tions on Roberts Line and at the top of Atawhai Road have Ja­pac work­ing con­sis­tently with a loyal team.

‘‘Palmer­ston North has got some re­ally good build­ing com­pa­nies now,’’ says Paul.’’We’re all well re­spected and we all know how to build good houses. The cow­boys aren’t out there. It’s very en­cour­ag­ing.’’

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