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The ones to watch; Auckland’s up and coming outer suburbs

With an emphasis usually placed on Auckland’s inner city suburbs, keen buyers are being encouraged to look further afield and explore areas on the city’s edge. Kirsty Macky, Director of Bayleys in the North says there’s a big move out of the CBD for lifestyle reasons.

“It’s about affordability, but it's also about space and a lifestyle balance with work and family.”

“We're finding a lot of families are choosing to come up and live on the city fringe. It’s close enough to Auckland so that mum or dad can commute if needed, but maybe only three or four days a week instead of five.”

She says there’s been a huge increase recently in the number of people interested in looking at northern suburbs like Orewa and Warkworth. What’s also made it easier to make the shift is an increase in accessibility too.

“A lot of employers seem really flexible now on working from home. But the other thing is the Northern Expressway. It's actually faster to hop on a bus at Silverdale and go straight through to the city, than it is to drive.”

“15 years ago a lot of the elderly used to move out here, but I think there’s been a real shift and change among people and how they want to spend their leisure time.”

Macky says there’s two groups of people mostly making the move.

“There’s young families coming up and spending in the same way that they would in the city, but getting a lot more bang for their buck. They can buy a four bedroom townhouse for the price of a small three bedroom unit in the inner suburbs.”

“Then there’s the downsizers. We get a lot of those, especially from the North Shore. They’re selling beautiful big homes, coming into something smaller and then putting the rest of the money in the bank. If they sell a $3 million dollar property, they can come here and buy something for $1 million.”

Auckland Residential Bayleys General Manager Raymond Mountfort agrees that price is a huge pull for people into the outer suburbs.

“Obviously there’s advantages around price. It does get cheaper the further you travel out. But that’s not the only reason people make the move. You’ve got primary schools that have agricultural days and nice things like that, and that’s really all part of the lifestyle.”

Mountfort says as urban sprawl continues, many of these areas are also getting amenities and facilities that traditionally you could only get in the central city.

“Cafes, good coffee, but there’s also a bit of diversity too with farmers markets, which means there’s a whole bunch of culinary items that you actually wouldn’t be able to get near the CBD.”

Accessibility at an affordable price and a slower pace is what Macky and Mountfort believe is giving these four outer Auckland suburbs a boost. So what can you expect from each of them, and how much are you likely to pay for a property there?


With close proximity to the coastline, Kirsty Macky says a big appeal is the beaches, beautiful walks, native bush and the estuary, but the area also has a lot of growth potential too.

“It’s also got a lot of new subdivisions, so you can actually buy something that's beautifully brand new and very low maintenance.”

“It's also got a lot of restaurants and cafes, so it's become a really vibrant beachside town and that appeals to a lot of people in any age group.”

The number of new developments on offer is leaving potential buyers spoilt for choice.

“It’s up the back in that Orewa Heights area, there’s a lot of new land opening up, and a new primary school there. There’s also up over the hill, and Hatfields Beach is starting to release more land, so it’s pretty exciting as far as subdivision goes.”

Macky says there’s also a vibrant mix of real estate.

“We’ve got old Orewa brick and tiles on the flat, but up on the hill we’ve got some beautiful real estate for $2 million plus with beautiful big views. So there is a range from little granny flat type stuff, right through to the beautiful big executive homes.”

Although it feels a world away, Orewa is surprisingly convenient too.

“It’s adjacent to Silverdale, so there’s a great choice of supermarkets and a great choice of big retail just 10 minutes away. But if you want to get into the city you’re just 30 minutes away with no traffic.”

So how much would a new place set you back? Macky says right now the median sale price for Orewa is $1.16 million.

“There’s a lot sitting under a million in traditional Orewa, but a lot up on the hill was built after 2010 and that’s all quite modern.”

“There’s something for everyone. We're no longer becoming the nana destination because there’s more than just granny flats, there's really good real estate available now.”


Like Orewa, Macky says Warkworth has a fantastic selection of property on offer.

“Traditional old Warkworth has older homes built in the late 90s to early 2000s, and now we have a whole load of land opening up and offering beautiful subdivisions, lovely single level brick homes and home and incomes.”

There’s lots of first home buyers with their sights set on Warkworth due to its affordability.

“They’ve had a look in Orewa, and they might have family on the North Shore. The primary schools are wonderful, you’ve got the regional parks on your doorstep, as well as beautiful beaches and Matakana. There’s a lot going on up there.”

Silverdale is just a 20 minute drive from Warkworth, and on a good run it’s 45 minutes into Auckland’s CBD.

“Big retail will start coming to Warkworth too. There’s already a massive Mitre 10 Mega up there as well as the big supermarkets. But more is coming.”

With the new expressway, Warkworth has also evolved from a thoroughfare into its own destination.

“So the expressway now just takes you straight through to Warkworth from the city. It's an amazing motorway that’s made Warkworth so much closer. It’s just 45 minutes to the CBD, and sometimes less on a really good run.”

Macky says the median sale price for Warkworth is slightly less than Orewa, sitting at $920,000.


Raymond Mountfort says north-west of the city is Kumeu, which offers a fantastic mix of both town and country.

“In the 1940s, Croatian New Zealanders saw it as a great place for the wine industry, so you’ve got really attractive surroundings and a nice vibe.There’s also every chance that you’ll have paddocks not far from your home”

“It has one of the largest A&P shows in the country, as well as the horticulture society. It’s a location that really has a lot of character.”

There’s also a wide range of properties and prices on offer between $600,000 and $3 million.

“A 200sqm, four bedroom home on about 400sqm of land will cost about $1.2 million."

“There’s a mix of stock available, and there’s a lot of new stock and new developments available too.The most attractive item at the moment would be the fact that you can buy a nice modern four bedroom home for just over a million dollars.”

While it might have a rural feel, it’s still really easy to get into town to.

“You’re only 25 kilometres from the city, so you’re not giving up on being able to come back into the city to meet up with friends and go out to a restaurant.”

Mountfort says the median sale price for Kumeu right now is sitting at $1.2 million.


Mountfort says Beachlands is an exciting 1920s suburb that was originally set up with holiday homes.

“It's now been developed with beautiful new subdivisions, a shopping centre, marina and golf course.”

“Typically in Beachlands you go into a new home, and they’re very very nice homes. What they’re putting in are very bespoke in design, there aren’t rows of identical homes. They’re very attractive properties.”

There’s also a range in pricing with some older holiday homes that have become available as do-up properties and investments.

“They range from $700,000. But we also have some people who have really pushed the boat out because they love the area, and they've architecturally designed their property. The highest sale last year in residential sales was $3.4 million.”

Mountfort says the area has spectacular views with a relaxing feel to it.

“You’re surrounded by the beautiful Whitford countryside, you’re right on the gulf and the south end of Waiheke Island. Beachlands really enjoys that benefit.”

“There’s also a lot of future development plans. There’s around 5000 homes set to be built between Beachlands and Howick with a well serviced supermarket, shopping centre and range of cafes.”

Mountfort says the icing on the cake will be the introduction of a regular ferry service into the CBD.

The median sale price is slightly higher than Kumeu, sitting at $1.52 million.

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