Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford is re-igniting, if not restoring yet, the dream of buying a 3-bedroom house in Auckland as the first home for a paltry $579,000.

Yes – $579,000 for 3-bedroom house is a paltry amount in the current scenario, where Auckland’s average price for a three bedroom house is $920, 234, according to an update on the website of Barfoot & Thompson.

While that average price mentioned on Barfoot & Thompson website does not accurately reflect the pricing for houses for first home buyers, what it does effectively is rationalising the expectations of many first home buyers, who start looking at something more modest in outer or the lesser-sought-after suburbs in Auckland.  

However, buying a 3-bedroom first-home in Auckland for $579,000 is still a dream that is being kindled by Phil Twyford’s recent Kiwi-Build announcements.

Kiwi-Build is the government’s ambitious programme that aims to deliver 100,000 modest starter homes for first home-buyers over the next decade for $2 billion. Around 50,000 of these homes will be in Auckland.

The main opposition National Party criticises Kiwi-Build for being a scam with unrealistic expectations, arguing that 100,000 houses for $2bn amount to a ratio of $20,000 for a house.

However, till the time it is proven beyond doubt, either way, there is no denial of the fact that Kiwi-Build announcements are kindling some dreams, especially of being able to buy a 3-bedroom first home for $579,000.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford has put his foot on accelerator on Kiwi Build – an ambitious programme of government that aims to deliver 100,000 modest starter homes for first home buyers over the next decade – with three major announcements this week.

Ballot for first KiwiBuild homes opened

The Government has opened the ballot for the first block of KiwiBuild homes on Monday, September 10.

The first 18 KiwiBuild homes, 12 three-bedroom and six four-bedroom homes, will sell for $579,000 and $649,000 at the McLennan development in Papakura.

"They are warm, modern and architecturally designed standalone homes in a new family friendly community," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

"These first houses represent the first step in restoring the dream of home ownership for families priced out of the market in Auckland and around the country,” Mr Twyford said.

Mt Roskill development plan

Earlier, Housing Minister Mr Twyford was joined by Mayor Phil Goff and Mt Roskill MP Michael Wood on Sunday, September 9 to announce a major development plan in Mt Roskill that promises to deliver 10,000 houses in the next 10 years.

This Roskill housing development project is worth $4 billion and would progress alongside KiwiBuild and the Auckland Housing Programme (ALP). The project envisages being similar in scale to the Mangere development, spread across 143 hectare area and will be built over the next 10-15 years.

“This redevelopment will include more than 2,400 modest, affordable KiwiBuild homes for first-home buyers, around 3,000 market homes, and more than 3,000 new state homes,” Mr Twyford said.

However, these 10,000 new homes will replace about 3,000 existing homes, so bringing about 7000 new houses in the market.

The Minister is hopeful that the proposed light rail line between the CBD and the airport would further increase the attractiveness of more intensive developments in the area.

First KiwiBuild development off the plans in Onehunga

The first buying off plans – an initiative which involves the government underwriting or purchasing new homes off the plans that the private sector are making anyways – was inaugurated by the Housing Minister in Onehunga on Thursday, September 13.

According to this plan, 25 stylish apartments in Onehunga which include six studio apartments priced from $380,000, 12 one-bedroom apartments priced from $490,000, and seven two-bedroom apartments priced at $600,000, would be made available to eligible Kiwibuild buyers.

The ballots for these houses are opening next week.

Only eligible, pre-qualified buyers can enter the ballots for these apartments, and if successful in the ballot, buyers will be required to pay a deposit of 10 per cent of the purchase price, with the balance to be paid once the apartments are completed.