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Aucklanders give up on the quarter acre dream

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 6/08/2018

Aucklanders appear to have ditched the idea of owning a quarter acre section in the suburbs, with a new report finding they're increasingly opting for smaller properties closer to transport links.

Auckland Council is today due to receive a report about the 2016 Unitary Plan - a long-term economic blueprint for the future of the city's housing and infrastructure.

It found a disproportionate share of new developments are concentrated around the rapid transit network, defined as within 1500m of a train station or northern busway bus stop.

The number of intensive buildings, like apartments and townhouses, has also grown and now accounts for 54 percent of new dwellings consented, up from 37 percent two years ago.

The council's planning committee chairman Chris Darby said the data shows how much Aucklanders have come to value living in convenient locations.

"They want to be living in proximity to rapid transit which in turn allows them to connect quickly, directly to employment, to education, to greater amenities, to friends."

The report found that in the 10 months since August 2017, there were 27 percent more dwellings consented than a year earlier.

Almost all of the growth has been in brownfield, or existing urban, areas. This reverses the trend of the past several years of development on greenfield, or previously undeveloped, land.

Mr Darby said the report showed Auckland was growing up.

"And I don't just mean growing up vertically but it's maturing: it's maturing as a first-world city and this trend showing through in the data is consistent with what is showing up in first-world cities around the world," he said.

"Transit is delivering its dividends and people are recognising the value of the connectivity that is offered to them through living in close proximity to transit."

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