Report highlights need for additional land

  • Nick Smith

It is essential that more land is made available for housing to improve supply and affordability in Auckland, Minister of Housing Dr Nick Smith said today in releasing the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment report ‘Residential Land Available in Auckland’.

“This report shows a worrying trend of reduced land availability and soaring section prices in Auckland over the past decade. It highlights that with projected population growth, Auckland will need about 13,000 additional homes per year over the next three decades and that with changing household make-ups, the biggest growth in demand will be for smaller households,” Dr Smith says.

The report stems from the Government’s response to the Productivity Commission’s housing affordability report and in a meeting with Auckland Mayor Len Brown last month it was agreed to have officials jointly work on gathering information on the land supply issue.

Officials studied the availability of greenfields land at the three stages of development – sections ready to be built on, land ready to be subdivided and land in the pipeline for future subdivisions.

  • The number of new sections available to be built on today is 1900 – significantly less than the 15,000 previously reported.
  • The land ready to be subdivided has a capacity of 14,500 sections, compared to the Council’s development strategy target of seven years supply of 32,550 sections.
  • The land in the pipeline for subdivision has a capacity of 54,500 sections, with the Council’s development strategy target being 20 years supply of 103,500 sections.
  • “This report shows Auckland needs double the supply of land to meet the Council’s own targets.

“These targets for land supply are conservative in that they also rely on ambitious targets being met through additional housing from intensification. The Government’s further concern, detailed in this report, is that Auckland’s plan will require the building of 4000 high-density dwellings every year for the next decade and 10,000 per year after that. This compares to 830 higher density dwellings consented last year and an average of 2674 per year over the past decade. Officials are cautious that this can be achieved, particularly when previous intensification targets set by Auckland planners a decade ago were not met.

“This report is progress in that we now have Government and Council officials in broad agreement on the actual availability of land in Auckland. We also agree that a mix of new greenfield land release and urban intensification is needed. I look forward to discussions with the Council on their draft unitary plan to ensure these issues are addressed and that the supply of land and housing is increased.”

A copy of the report can be found at: