Thursday November 16 2017
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Inner-city living: The pros and cons, Last week, The Star revealed a report showing people don’t want to live in high density housing. Today Bridget Rutherford compares the cost of buying in the central city and the suburbs FOR ABOUT $1.3 million, you could buy a 964m2 property in Northwood with five bedrooms, three bathrooms, three living areas and a spacious backyard. Or, for the same price, you could get a yet to be built innercity apartment sandwiched between Hagley Park and Victoria St and less than a quarter of the size. Which would you prefer? A study published in the Urban Studies Journal by Canterbury University transportation lecturer Diana Kusumastuti looked at the weight residents put on buying a home, and what factors were more important. It found more people were likely to buy a home in the city’s outer suburbs because the properties were larger, quieter, private and often cheaper.
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The city council and Government have a goal of having 20,000 people living in the central city by 2024. Post-quake District Plan zone changes have been made to encourage innercity development. Industry experts say it is a lifestyle choice, and businesses need a higher central city population to succeed. New apartments on the market yet to be built could cost any-
where between $300,000 to more than $3 million. Harcourts Gold senior sales consultant Mark O’Loughlin is selling a number of the central city apartments. He said there were about 160 apartments or townhouses either under construction or being marketed in the central city due to be finished by the end of 2019. Of those, about half were under offer or had sold.
! a m a r a b o o K K sale
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Mr O’Loughlin said their survey results had found the biggest priorities for buyers were the lifestyle, ease of living, access to services and low maintenance. The biggest market for apartments were people aged between 60-85, who wanted a downgrade or lifestyle change. He said young couples who were using their KiwiSaver grants made up 25 per cent.
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“Because a lot of younger people today are more transient in their jobs, they get married older so they’re living with friends or their partners for longer. Most prefer the privacy of one or two bedroom apartments.” He said a lot of apartment purchases had to be made off the plans, but people were willing to do that. “Banks require 80 per cent of the project to be pre-sold before banks can provide funding for the project.” Near Hagley Park, Cranmer Square and Victoria St would be the expensive, larger apartments, he said. On the eastern side of the central city near Latimer Square, were the more affordable apartments for younger buyers or renters. Mr O’Loughlin said there was a broad range. He sold a one bedroom apartment for $309,000 recently, and a two-storey 550 sq m apartment on Park Tce for $5.5 million. He said it was cheaper to live in the suburbs. People could buy a new four-bedroom home in Rolleston or Rangiora for about $600,000, he said.
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Published on Nov 15, 2017