Life in the newest suburb
Ryan Frost loves running with his dogs, Juca and Lola.
The beagles are a new addition to the family and would have been out of the question until the account manager and his wife bought their first home in Hobsonville Point last year.
He is among thousands of people flocking to Hobsonville Point in West Auckland following the Government’s promise of affordable housing in the region.
‘‘We were first-home buyers, and if it wasn’t for my Kiwisaver we wouldn’t have been able to buy out here,’’ he said.
The brand-new suburb has rushed ahead at break-neck speed. Entire communities have sprung up along roads that just a few years ago were a sleepy path to the local farmers’ market.
‘‘It’s the fastest-growing area in New Zealand,’’ local property consultant Mike Bristow said.
‘‘I’ve been surprised that so many people have been attracted to the high density of living in Hobsonville Point. I was a bit wary at the start, but if you get good urban design, you can actually live in some fairly tight areas.’’
That popularity has come at a price, with property values rapidly climbing past the government’s threshold of first-home affordability.
Space is a premium. Terraced cookie-cutter apartments line the streets like oversized pieces of Lego, their at uniformity reminiscent of the white picket fence dream, except nobody here has space for a front yard.
Indoor garages are often turned into storage space – houses are cramped – and residents complain there’s not enough room for everyone to park on the street. But living in each other’s pockets isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Local mum Amy Pattle said there’s a ‘‘massive’’ sense of community.
‘‘Even though the homes themselves and the yards aren’t really big, there are lots of places within easy walking distance.’’
Like the suburb, the electorate itself is brand-new, carved out for the 2014 election when population growth earned West Auckland another member in parliament.
Locals here share the same concerns as many other residents across the super city.
‘‘There’s a lack of public transport out here, and in Auckland generally,’’ Frost said.
‘‘That’s a big one for me.’’
Terraced apartments line the streets of Hobsonville Point.