-May 12, 2022 By City Sales Ltd

How much does it cost to buy an apartment in Auckland

How much does it cost to buy an apartment in Auckland

It's no secret that Auckland is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. With the average house price an unreachable for most average of $1.2million, apartments are an excellent option growing in popularity in face of rising house prices with the average apartment prices range anywhere around $600,000.

But there are some differences in apartment living versus houses. If you're thinking of buying an apartment in Auckland, it's important to understand what you're getting into, especially if you've not had much dealing with apartments before.

In this article, we'll take a look at the average cost of an apartment in Auckland, what affects this cost, and some things you need to consider before making your purchase.

1. What are the different types of apartments available in Auckland

There are a few different types of apartments available in Auckland. The most common are called freehold apartments, which are apartments that are purchased on a freehold title. This means that you own the property outright but all the unit owners will still be part of a body corporate and therefore subject to body corporate fees which cover maintenance of common areas and facilities such as the cleaning of hallways, entranceways, lift and pool maintenance and body corporate rules. The body corporate rules explain what is and is not permitted in the building such as pets and guest behavior.

Another type of apartment is called a leasehold apartment. These apartments are build on land which is leased from the land owner. In Auckland leasehold properties tend to be much cheaper than freehold, and are usually located on the waterfront. Before you get excited about cheap waterfront living - there are some things you need to know about leasehold property. You can find 2 bedroom leasehold properties with carpark on the waterfront for as little as $30,000 - but the price is so little as the OPEX and lack of land ownership and the amount of running costs makes the property near worthless. If you have the money for the OPEX these properties provide a great lifestyle for an owner occupier at a very affordable entry price.

2. What will it cost to buy an apartment in Auckland

The cost of an apartment in Auckland varies depending on a number of factors. The biggest determining factor is the type of apartment you buy: A freehold unit is typically far more expensive than a leasehold unit.

Past that - much like any house the quality of the building, the location, the maintenance, the views, the facilities on offer all add into the price.

In Auckland there tend to be 2 different quality levels/types of building. There is the typical investor stock, these are slightly cheaper, slightly smaller, slightly lower quality, often larger buildings. The finishing of the building ie that of the kitchen tends to be on the lower but acceptable end of the scale and size particularly for students or those looking for affordable living. The age of these units and likelihood of them having been owned by investors and lived in by student tenants mean they often are in want a tidy up by new purchasers should you want to move in yourself or to add value to an investment.

Examples of these in existing Auckland apartments would be most Conrad apartment complexes ie Zest at 72 Nelson Street, Aura at 53 Cook Street or Ascent at 149 Nelson Street. Or Whitaker Place tends to have a lot of 'student' buildings such as The Whitaker at 2 Whitaker Place, Empire at 21-23 Whitaker Place and Columbia at 15 Whitaker Place. It is their proximity to Universities, the size and lower quality finishings, and lack of facilities like gym/pool meaning lower rent which tend to attract students. The buildings are not specifically for students.
You might find a studio in these blocks for somewhere starting around $400k

Then there are the newer owner occupier stock. These are world class buildings here in Auckland City with top spec finishings and prices to match, like The Pacifica at 10-12 Commerce Street. The Pacifica offers a lap pool, gym, yoga studio, residents lounge and barbeque terrace. These amazing facilities are another reason people might forgo a house for apartment life. Another example would be Grace, 70 Sale Street. This beautiful apartment building boasts great views, spacious layouts and a resident rooftop garden/lounge. It is simply due to price that these types of buildings tend to be owner occupier rather than investor buildings. These properties would start at $700k and quickly increase in price and value to over $1million. The same applies to any investor looking at buying a house. At those prices an investor would need to consider buying 2 smaller units which would split risk and possibly give a greater return.

The body corporates fees will be higher depending on what facilities the complex offers as the body corporate handles the maintenance and portions the charges back to all owners. A house will not typically be part of a body corporate, so it is often not a consideration for buyers who have not looked at apartment living before.

3. Factors that affect the price of an apartment

Aside from the title type: Freehold/Leasehold. Much like any house price the quality of the building, the location, the maintenance, the views, the facilities on offer like swimming pools, communal gardens, gyms all affect the price of an apartment.

Generally the higher the floor of an apartment, the higher the value. ie it would be expected that apartment 210 would be cheaper than apartment 1210 in any building despite being in the same building, facing the same way, being the same age, and layout etc. This is because the views tend to get better, the noise tends to be less and the higher floors are generally more appealing to the market which drives the price.

5. Tips for finding the right apartment in Auckland

The first thing to do is have a clear picture in your head of what you are buying for. If you are looking for an investment we always suggest you do your sums and if you had $600k, consider would you get a better investment return and less risk by buying 2 smaller units around $300k each?

1. Location is key

When looking for an apartment in Auckland, it's important to consider the location. You want to find an area that's close to your work or school, as well as shops and restaurants. The best neighbourhoods for apartments in Auckland city are the central business district, Ponsonby, Mt Eden and Takapuna. As apartment living becomes more normal for Kiwi's, the number of apartment blocks around the city, particularly in suburbs will increase.

2. Know your budget

It's important to know how much you can afford to spend on an apartment before you start your search. Once you have a price range in mind, you can start looking at different units that fit your budget.

3. Size and layout

Another important consideration when choosing an apartment is the size and layout. You need to make sure that the apartment is big enough to fit all of your belongings, and that the layout is suitable for your needs.

4. Amenities

When you're looking at apartments in Auckland city, you'll also want to consider the amenities that are available. Some buildings have gyms, pools, and other facilities that you might want to use.

5. Maintenance and repairs

Before you move into an apartment, it's important to check the body corporate fees. These are annual charges that cover the cost of maintaining the building and or doing repairs. The body corporate accounts will be available in the building AGM or Annual General Meeting minutes.

The beauty of the city lifestyle is that a body corporate will likely be taking care of all the maintenance for you with one easy bill. Where if you had a house with its own garden and pool you would need to either manage the care of these on your own or hire someone, the body corp will do it all for you.

6. Closing thoughts

When considering purchasing an apartment in Auckland rather than a stand alone house, it's important to remember that the cost of living in the city is high. Apartments are often more cheaper than houses, and the average price for an apartment is around $600,000. This may make life in Auckland more affordable when house prices are getting unattainable. However, there are many factors to consider when making this decision, and it's important to talk to a real estate agent to learn more about the process. There are many different types of unit available in Auckland city, and there is sure to be one that fits your budget and needs. With a little research, you can find the perfect apartment for you.

At City Sales we have been involved in apartment sales since the apartment market beginnings. We know in detail almost every building in Auckland city right down to having the floorplans and latest AGMs. We would be thrilled to talk you through what properties might suit your needs. Call us today 09 3030 601 or email us on sales@citysales.co.nz

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