Prop­er­ties are so tightly held in Point Che­va­lier, it can be dif­fi­cult get­ting a foothold in the sub­urb. But once you’re there, chances are you’ll never want to move again, writes LOUISE RICHARD­SON.

The New Zealand Herald - - One Roof Property Report -

Not sur­pris­ingly, given its handy lo­ca­tion in re­la­tion to the har­bour and Me­ola Reef, early Point Che­va­lier was the site of small Maori fish­ing set­tle­ments be­fore the ar­rival of Euro­pean set­tlers in the 1840s.

The area was im­por­tant to the colo­nial pop­u­la­tion in the 1850s and 60s be­cause Great North Rd was then the main route out of town.

But as other roads opened Point Che­va­lier (named af­ter Cap­tain Ge­orge Robert Che­va­lier, a mus­ketry in­struc­tor), went back to be­ing a mainly ru­ral area and a sea­side re­sort, pop­u­lar with city dwellers for day trips.

That was not to change un­til the pe­riod be­tween the two great wars of the 20th Cen­tury, when sig­nif­i­cant res­i­den­tial devel­op­ment be­gan.

As other beaches be­came more ac­ces­si­ble, the ‘sea­side town’ at­mos­phere in Point Che­va­lier faded away.

Re­cently the sub­urb has been re­dis­cov­ered by Cal­i­for­nian bun­ga­low and art deco en­thu­si­asts who have tapped into a rich vein, with plenty of houses — most of which were built be­tween 1920 and 1929 — still ripe for ren­o­va­tion.

Many of th­ese house hunters have been priced out of nearby hot spots such as Grey Lynn and Pon­sonby and have come to ap­pre­ci­ate the larger sec­tions that are typ­i­cal in Point Che­va­lier.

Among many other at­trac­tions, Point Che­va­lier is handy to the city and mo­tor­way, yet many of its streets are quiet and peace­ful.

The beach was re-sanded in 2008 and is en­joy­ing re­newed pop­u­lar­ity. Lo­cals un­der­take a va­ri­ety of wa­ter­sports and prop­er­ties with easy beach ac­cess, such as those in St Michaels Ave, sell for siz­able sums.

Who lives here and what do they do?

Point Che­va­lier has some very good schools with a strong com­mu­nity fo­cus, so the sub­urb is pop­u­lar with young fam­i­lies, many of whom buy old bun­ga­lows and ren­o­vate them as fi­nances al­low.

Sixty-three per cent of lo­cals de­scribe them­selves as

pro­fes­sion­als , while 40 per cent of house­holds have in­comes in ex­cess of $100,000.

What’s to love?

Res­i­dents will tell you there’s lots to love. Auck­land Zoo and the Mu­seum of Trans­port and tech­nol­ogy (Mo­tat) are both big draw­cards, as are the parks, in­clud­ing Western Springs Park.

Lo­cals en­joy walk­ing around Me­ola Reef (Te Tokaroa) a penin­sula formed by an­cient lava flows, while swim­ming, wind­surf­ing, kitesurf­ing and sail­ing are other pop­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties.

Cafe cul­ture took a while to ar­rive in Point Che­va­lier but it’s well-east­ab­lished now and most res­i­dents have their favourite. While the sub­urb’s shops in gen­eral still have po­ten­tial for im­prove­ment, St Lukes is just a short drive away, as are Pon­sonby and Grey Lynn.

Pub­lic trans­port to and from Auck­land CBD is ex­cel­lent and many lo­cals make use of the cy­cle path that runs along­side the mo­tor­way.

Decile 10 Point Che­va­lier School, St Fran­cis School and Western Springs Col­lege all en­joy good rep­u­ta­tions and the lat­ter has re­cently had an $80m re­build.

Buy­ing and sell­ing

OneRoof data shows value growth slid 2 per cent in the past 12 months, in line with the rest of Auck­land, al­though a pick-up in mar­ket ac­tiv­ity ap­pears to have halted any down­turn. The curent me­dian value sits at $1,395,000, just $5000 above Grey Lynn next door. Both sub­urbs are still more af­ford­able than neigh­bour­ing West­mere ($1.6m); Pon­sonby ($1.61m); and Herne Bay ($2.43m).

Pro­fes­sion­als agent Derek von Sturmer says that al­though 2019 has been the agency’s best year for sales, there is a dearth of listings. That’s partly be­cause prop­er­ties are tightly held and home­own­ers gen­er­ally only ever move within the sub­urb.

He says he and the team need an­other 20 or 30 houses ur­gently, ide­ally each with four bed­rooms and two bath­rooms.

“Be­cause this is such a fam­ily-ori­ented neighbourh­ood, most buy­ers are also look­ing for full sec­tions where their chil­dren can play safely.”

Von Sturmer says that Point Che­va­lier has es­sen­tially flown un­der the radar for the past 15 years, but this is chang­ing.

“It’s on a penin­sula so people come into the sub­urb for a rea­son, rather than driv­ing through it. The res­i­dents here all know each other so well, it’s prac­ti­cally like a small town,” he says.

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