Smaller properties attracting interest from potential buyers as consents rise

There's been a significant boost in the number of townhouses and units consented in the June 2020 quarter.

Existing smaller properties are also attracting the interest of potential buyers with hundreds visiting an attached townhouse in Auckland this weekend.

It was another busy weekend of open home viewings in Auckland. Two-bedroom and three-bedroom townhouses saw people queueing to view last weekend and today there were even more potential buyers through the doors.

"I think the smaller units which is more of interest rather than the larger homes, because I went to another place where it was nobody to see except me," says potential buyer Farida Poonawela.

One property's real estate agent says the units appeal to a variety of buyers.

"We have development potential, investment potential, or awesome opportunity just to buy for yourself," says Ray White real estate agent Rick Mozessohn.

New figures from Stats NZ show 28 percent of new builds consented in the June 2020 quarter were also smaller homes.

Townhouses, flats and units saw a significant increase, accounting for more than 2000 of around 9000 new consents.

Mozessohn says all of his listings have been getting just as much attention and his sales are up on this time last year.

"We don't know what's going to happen later on in the year and I don't think anyone does, but what we do know is we're getting really strong interest at the moment, it's surprising and really positive," he says.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand CEO Bindi Norwell says house prices went up by 9 percent year on year across the country.

"We're seeing a gradual or steady increase in confidence post-lockdown, in fact June was the busiest month in terms of property sold for four years which was quite surprising," she says.

"I think maybe people are looking at if they can't travel or go overseas, maybe they'll invest in property at the moment, lot of first home buyers out there looking at property at the moment too."

The other 'open home' attracting plenty of interest this weekend was a new Auckland apartment block that's built to rent.

With a communal living space on the top floor, two City Hop electric car spaces and no other carparking the owners say the apartment offers a 'greener' option.

"Now that the rules have changed under the new unitary plan, we think it's an exciting opportunity to build a building that other people are too scared to," says Ockham Residential owner Mark Todd.

Eleven of the 32 apartments have already been leased.

Plenty of activity from renters and buyers and a market that's yet to see a dip post-COVID-19.