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December, 2020

Singles or couples can pay as little as $200,000 to secure assisted home
ownership in a new Queenstown apartment building.
Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust owns 50 of the 78 units in
the first building of the Toru complex below Franktons Remarkables
Park Town Centre, which was completed this week.
The trusts putting 25 one- and two-bedroom apartments into its secure
home programme, which this year attracted a government interest-free
loan of $6.35 million.
Another 15 are going into public housing, six are being sold on the open
market and the balance are being retained as affordable rentals or rent-
to-buy units.
Of the secure home units, about 15 have been spoken for.
Under the programme, the trust retains ownership of the unit, however
the purchaser has a right to occupy under a 100-year lease and pays
only a small ground rent on the land value of the unit  about $70 a
Trust executive officer Julie Scott says the cheapest one-bedders are
going for $200,000 (average $220,000) with a deposit of only 5%, or just
10,000, if someone qualifies for the governments First Home Loan.
Not only is it really affordable, she notes, but you get security of
tenure, you pay less than renting, and at the end of the day youre
paying off your own mortgage.
The cheapest price for a two-bedder is $300,000 (average $320,000).
Till now, the trusts built mainly three-bedroom homes.
Land it gets from developers typically isnt that conducive for building
one- or two-bedroom units, Scott says.
However, on its waiting list of about 600 households, she notes about 25
percent are singles.
Then by the time you add couples and single parents with, say, one
child, thats more than half our waiting list.
One of the reasons we signed up to purchase [50] apartments was
because we really support the concept of this high-density apartment
living, and in Queenstown theres just not enough of it.
I think in Queenstown we need to be thinking about going up, not out,
so much.
As usual, Scott says theyre trying to attract locals in key roles like
teachers, nurses and cops, especially those starting out and not earning
so much, to try to keep them in town when otherwise propertys so
Under the governments funding, the trust also has to target Maori and
Pasifika households.
The 15 units its allocating for public housing are also targeting low
earners, including retirees without assets, whod otherwise struggle to
pay rent.
Roy Thompson, from Toru developer New Ground Capital, says the
relationship with the housing trust has been fantastic.
Having them onboard early helped us to stand up the feasibility of the
whole project, and hopefully its been a real win-win-win together with
their ultimate tenants and residents.
Hes also delighted with the building job by Naylor Love  at seven
levels, its conceivably Queenstowns tallest building.
Hes happy, too, that the buildings very, very well-insulated, so
heating costs will be low.
Thompsons company also has consent to build two more buildings which
it would rent out to employers and individuals.
However, its taking its time as, post-Covid, some of the pressures come
off the rental market, especially with Airbnb properties going into long-
term rentals.
Were expecting the rental market will tighten up again, so were still
confident about the opportunity to do large-scale rental accommodation

Source: Mountain Scene


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