Auckland’s section sizes continue to fall as the ‘quarter acre’ dream becomes just that

 
View over Auckland

Over the last 20 years, the likelihood of people purchasing the quarter acre dream section has fallen even further in Auckland with property section sizes sold falling 9% across the region from a median land area of 745m2 for the year-ending May 1999 compared to 675m2  in May this year, according to the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), source of the most complete and accurate real estate data in New Zealand.

Section sizes in Papakura saw the biggest fall over the last 20 years, with a 30% fall in median land area from 749m2 in 1999 to 523m2 – the fourth smallest section size in Auckland. This was followed by Greenhithe, which saw a 28% fall in median land area from 1,414m2 to 1,012m2 and Flat Bush in Manukau City with a 26% fall in median land area from 553m2 to 411m2.

Ponsonby in central Auckland takes out the ‘honour’ of the smallest section size at a median of 341m2 – an 11% fall from 384m2 20 years ago. The second smallest section size in Auckland was Flat Bush followed by Grey Lynn.

Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “Auckland’s median section sizes have been falling over the last 20 years and the data clearly shows that the ‘quarter acre dream’ is only a reality now for just two of Auckland’s suburbs – Greenhithe on the North Shore and Titirangi in West Auckland with both suburbs having a median land area of 1,012m2.

“There are a number of factors driving down the size of sections in Auckland including the high price of land, the introduction of the Unitary Plan in November 2016, the changing attitudes of Aucklanders to being more amenable to apartments or terraced housing and our busier lifestyles see some people less inclined to spend their weekends mowing lawns and gardening,” continues Norwell.

“For those that do want to continue to chase the dream of the quarter acre section, many have taken the option to move out of Auckland where land is far more affordable per square metre,” she continues.

Looking at the price of land for the Auckland region, over the last 20 years, the price of land per square metre has risen significantly by 350% from $324 for the 12 months ending May 1999 to $1,457 for the 12 months ending May 2019.

Suburbs across Auckland with the biggest rise seen in the price of land per square metre over the past 20 years were:

  • Flat Bush – with a 779% increase from $346 for the 12 months ending May 1999 to $3,040 for 12 months ending May 2019

  • Point Chevalier – with a 577% increase from $413 for the 12 months ending May 1999 to $2,794 for 12 months ending May 2019

  • Beachlands – with a 513% increase from $230 for the 12 months ending May 1999 to $1,409 for 12 months ending May 2019.

“As the size of sections has tended to fall the price of land has increased accordingly. Therefore, it’s not surprising that Ponsonby not only has Auckland’s smallest section size per square metre, but it is also the most expensive suburb when looking at land prices per square metre. Prices in Ponsonby have increased by 494% increase from 20 years ago when land was ‘only’ $957 per square metre – a similar price to sections in Mangere East currently – to $5,681 per square metre now,” concludes Norwell.

 
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