Buying apartments off-the-plan: Choose quality and experience

1/12/16 3:31 PM

Buyers should have confidence in buying apartments off the plan says New Zealand Property Council Chief Executive, Connal Townsend.

Speaking at the Property Council Residential Summit on 30 November, Mr Townsend along with leading industry speakers addressed some of the challenges facing the residential development industry.

“The construction market is white hot the moment. We are in a boom time and with that comes challenges especially in relation to rising construction costs, labour shortages and the need to supply quality housing quickly given the housing shortage.

“This is a wider issue that involves not just developers, but banks, councils and builders.

“The Residential Summit is a step towards assessing the challenges and working together as an industry to come up with a solution that delivers on what society wants; affordable and sustainable housing.”

Mr Townsend stresses that experienced developers are working hard to keep up with demand and deliver quality developments on time and to budget.

“According to CBRE Auckland has 8,500 apartments in the active development pipeline. This includes under construction and actively marketed but not yet under construction, and over 2,500 have been completed since the start of the current development cycle in 2013. Given this scale, the industry is coping exceptionally well.”

The recent examples of a small number of projects seeking to increase prices prior to the sale and purchase agreements going unconditional, is the exception rather than the rule says Mr Townsend. They are an example of developers who do not follow best practice.

“Many experienced developers are delivering in this market without price increases.

“Buyers should have certainty in a developers ability to see through a project with the funds paid up front. There are plenty of well-funded, experienced developers, and buyers should have confidence that these companies would have fully tested a project’s deliverability prior to launch.”

He advises buyers to buy from developers who have a proven track record or work with an experienced project team. Buyers should look for a developer that has already successfully delivered off the plan apartment builds.

“Apartments are an important part of residential living in larger cities, especially in Auckland where we are experiencing a serious housing shortage. The experienced developers are focused on building and delivering superb developments, and will continue to do so”, says Mr Townsend.

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