Living on the water

properties on the water

Location, location, location has long been the mantra of many a real estate agent or developer, particularly when it comes to properties close to the water or a house with a sea view which naturally demands a premium price.

Living by the water has long been a dream of many Kiwis, but Kerry Martin of Waterside Sustainable Developments is about to take that dream and amplify it, by building New Zealand’s first floating homes. The plan is to create 12 innovative and architecturally designed floating homes in the coastal canal development of Whitianga Waterways meaning that Kiwis will now be able to live on the water, rather than “just” by the water.

The floating homes project aims to deliver sustainable projects, which will provide exceptional homes with all the benefits of waterfront living, while being flood proof, even if our oceans rise as predicted.

Upon completion, Waterside Sustainable Developments will offer purchasers a unique canal lifestyle that has yet to be seen in New Zealand. Each Floating Home will have its own 18m berth, plus the opportunity for smaller boats or jet skis to berth alongside. A garage or boat house will be able to be built on the road side of the property with a gangway leading along to an entry deck to the floating home and boat mooring. The homes can be orientated to allow for maximum views and natural light while creating clever solutions to enable privacy and a sense of space.

Initial concepts include four different types of homes, all based on the same footprint. These range from a single storied two-bedroom option through to a double level four-bedroom multi-space design. The homes will incorporate sustainable building and specific mechanical solutions providing a holistic approach to all aspects of waterfront living.

Details such as roof terraces, pools, hot tubs, waterslides, jet ski ramps or other aspirations are able to be integrated as purchasers want.

Kerry Martin from Waterside Sustainable Developments has partnered with Hopper Developments who are well renowned for their waterfront living projects in Whitianga, Pauanui and Marsden Cove. The floating homes will form part of a new marine district at the Whitianga Waterways. Martin says since announcing the development in May he’s had high levels of interest, particularly from those in the Coromandel.

“People already living in the Coromandel are well suited to the lifestyle of living on a floating structure, so it doesn’t surprise me that the majority of interest has been from locals. Interest has been pretty steady since the initial announcement and we’ve already got 3 people wanting to put deposits down – considering we can only build 12 floating homes, that’s a pretty good result so far,” he says.

The floating homes will start from $1.6 million for an 18m berth and a single-story house. Depending on the additional features and bedrooms, prices will increase accordingly.

“What’s surprised me the most about this entire project is how welcoming and cool the people of Coromandel and the local council have been,” says Martin. “They want to see cool things happen in their town and they’re not umming and aahing about whether we can build these structures. They’ve said to me if you can address x, y and z then we can make it happen – which is just great!”.

Martin is hoping to start building in October 2018 with the first floating homes ready mid-2019.

Feature StoriesDee Crooks