The Case for Building New in Auckland

As any Aucklander knows, the property market is on fire, with house prices in the city at an all-time high – partly due to the pandemic, as sales rally post-lockdown and people upgrade their homes, where they’re spending more time.

In fact, prices are so high – and housing stock so scarce – that it can be hard to find a property that ticks all your boxes, is in your desired suburb, and is priced affordably. “A lot of people these days end up buying a home that’s not what they want, just to be in the area they want,” says Warwick Aldridge of Landmark Homes, West and Central Auckland.

There is, however, another option.

If you already own property in a sought-after suburb and are ready to upgrade to a larger house, you may want to think twice about buying an existing property. Instead, consider a “Remove and Rebuild” and avoid joining the fray. “In many cases,” explains Warwick, “you can build a brand-new house for the equivalent of what you would spend if you purchased an upgraded property in the same area.”

Upgrading in Auckland’s $2 million suburbs

Yes, it may sound cost-prohibitive to build a new home on your current site, but in fact, it often works out more economical. This is particularly true if you purchased your home 10 to 15 years ago, you’ve paid off a lot of your mortgage, and you’ve got a significant amount of capital tied up in the land value of your home.

The suburbs in that $2 million bracket include all central Auckland from Pt Chevalier through to the inner city and all Eastern bay areas.

Rather than selling that home and taking on a bigger mortgage to buy something more suited to your next phase in life, you’ve got an arguably better opportunity to demolish what you’ve got, stay in that same neighbourhood, and build exactly what you want! That way, you can have your dream home for the same price – or less – as settling for something “not quite perfect.”

Point Chevalier Client Case Study

Take this real-world example: Client A is currently living in an unrenovated 1940s three-bedroom, one-bathroom home in Point Chev, currently valued at $1.5 million. Like most older houses, it lacks open-plan living, design flow, and modern appeal – and is built on a 450m² site.

The client wanted to upgrade to a four-bedroom home with a study, ensuite bathroom, scullery, family bathroom, separate toilet, and open-plan central living space with outdoor living to boot – in the same suburb of Auckland. In the current economy, a home like this would be valued at around $2.7 million, and be sold at auction for even more.

If Client A were to build that kind of property on the existing 450m², according to Warwick, who has built many such homes himself, the build cost would be around $1 million – ultimately saving $200K+ on the new purchase price.

Not only that, but there would be far fewer maintenance costs than if they bought an existing home. Because even if they did manage to find a property for sale with all the features they wanted, they would still need to spend on property maintenance within just a few years.

More benefits of building new vs. buying existing

The other major benefit of a Remove and Rebuild isn’t financial – although, as the example above demonstrates, this method can be more cost-effective than buying a bigger, better house. The real bonus, of course, is that you get to build your dream home – and for the same price as buying a “good enough” one in the same area.

You can build with a clean slate and design whatever you want, rather than buying a “project” property you plan to renovate. In that scenario, you’re restricted by the structure that’s already there, which limits what you can do.

Furthermore, when you build new, you’re building using modern technology and materials. As any Aucklander knows, older properties, even in the nicest of neighbourhoods, often lack efficiency and tend to be on the draughty side! A new home will be more comfortable and cost-efficient to live in, and you’ll avoid the regular and often-steep maintenance costs that come with looking after an 80-year-old property – even if parts of it have been upgraded.

A recent Remove and Rebuild in Titirangi

Jac and Steve Dunne had owned their 1954 bungalow for nearly eight years and wanted to upgrade to a bigger, better house. Their current site had phenomenal Auckland views, so they chose to demolish the outdated bungalow and build a brand-new, two-storey, high-tech home!

After 13 months, they moved into a luxurious and ultra-modern home that they couldn’t be happier with, built for $1.3 million. Best of all? The house was a dream to build.

“You hear so many horror stories of building in the media that the most surprising thing was how easy this build was!” says Steve. “If anybody walks up to me and says they’re going to build a house in West Auckland, I’d say, ‘Go with Landmark, and don’t go anywhere else.’ I really would.” Click here to read more about their build journey.

Are you a property owner in one of Auckland’s $2 million suburbs and considering a Remove and Rebuild? We can help. With decades of building experience under our belts – and knowing Auckland like our own backyard (because it is!) – Landmark Homes Auckland will handle resource consents, remove the existing dwelling, and build your dream home on the same site.

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