Auckland Property Values – Unitary Plan

Posted on Tuesday, April 16 2013

Act NOW! Auckland Investors & Property Owners – Preserve Assurance Of Subdivision


Apologies to those in other parts of the country but like the Rugby on Saturday Night, Auckland will be dominating this months article on property valuation.

The Auckland Unitary Plan is a hot topic as council is trying to push through a raft of significant changes in a short space of time (before 1 September 2013). I had a brief look at the zoning proposals and planning maps and was surprised than although the council is stating they are wanting to significantly infill Auckland, there are a huge number of properties which will end up with lower potential densities than the current plan allows. Essentially the closer a property is to transport and shopping, the higher the potential density. This has a significant impact on property investors both in terms of what they own and what they should be looking to buy. I urge you to check the Draft Auckland Unitary Plan Viewer to see how your properties may be affected.

There will certainly be winners and losers from the changes in zoning however it may be that you need to act now to develop or at least get a resource consent for a property you have which is subdivisable or risk losing that right if your property is proposed in the draft as a ‘single house’ zone if and when the draft plan is implemented. There are many facets to the draft plan including ‘overlays’ (ie special zonings) for certain areas and various rules relating to driveways, setbacks, space etc which will come into play.

Auckland Property Values - Unitary Plan

The following is designed to be a general outline (but not specific advice) to make sure you are aware of the potential for your property to devalue under the new plan by losing the ability to subdivide. Having checked your property on the Plan Viewer, if you think your property might be adversely affected you should further read the Draft Unitary Plan and seek advice from a council planner and/or surveyor. I still have a lot to learn about the draft plan but as people become more aware of it, its’ affect on values will become more apparent.

As an example to be aware of, many quatre acre sections (1012sq.m) in Manukau City were generally able to be subdivided into 3 lots however many of these sites are planned to be rezoned into the ‘single house’ zone which allows subdivision into 500sq.m lots EXCLUDING driveway access. A corner lot could still be a 2 unit site in this case but front lots would not be able to be subdivided. Even if you don’t want to subdivided immediately, it may be worthwhile obtaining a resource consent to subdivide (which is valid for 5 years), to preserve the value of your property and keep your options open.

Winners under the proposed plan will include better quality areas or well laid out sites where 1 per 300sq.m (mixed housing) zones are to apply. So a 650sq.m site (allowing 50sq.m for driveway) may be able to be subdivided – for many of these sites however the position of the existing house will make this unfeasible although in high value areas it may be worth moving them. Apartment and Terraced housing zones would provide many possibilities but there is more complicated criteria to determine what can be developed on the site and it seems likely that smaller sites will need to be amalgamated to provide the space for developments such as multi level apartments.
Like it or not the city will change but for those who are lamenting the demise of the kiwi quater acre, it appears they will be preserved in some areas, just possibly not the areas you would want to live in!

As property investors we must be aware of the opportunities to be gained and lost. For proposals you are not happy with make sure you have you say during the consultation period rather than gripe about it after the fact!


By Rene McLean.

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Rene McLean | Registered Valuer ANZIV | Property InDepth – Manukau
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Manukau Registered Property Valuers




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