Build-to-rent finally gaining traction in New Zealand


Countries overseas have already adopted build-to-rent as a way to tackle housing issues – New Zealand may finally be catching up as Kiwi Property plans to construct the country’s first large-scale build-to-rent development

Located at Sylvia Park, Auckland, the 295-unit apartment complex is set to change what it means to rent in New Zealand. Construction of the $221 million development is scheduled to begin later this year, offering a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments that are built for sustainable living.

Build-to-rent properties are owned and managed by an institutional landlord – Kiwi Property in this case – and are specifically designed for long term tenancy. The model offers residents the flexibility and convenience of renting, coupled with the security of tenure usually associated with home ownership.

This means that in addition to a raft of facilities and services such as a private gym, co-working spaces, rooftop terrace and on-site maintenance, residents are welcome to have pets, hang pictures, or add their own personal touch to the colour scheme.

Kiwi Property chief executive, Clive Mackenzie, says build-to-rent also has the potential to help alleviate New Zealand’s significant housing shortfall.

“It’s never been tougher or more expensive for Kiwis to get on the property ladder. The median Auckland price is now around $1.2 million and as a result, it now takes the average first home buyer 14 years to save a house deposit.

“Today, more than half of Aucklanders over the age of 15 are living in rental accommodation. Our aim is to make that experience as good as, if not better, than owning your own home.

“Kiwi Property’s build-to-rent developments will feature quality amenities, a range of resident services and specially curated events, all designed to promote a vibrant community. We’re creating a new way of living that’s custom designed for the modern Kiwi lifestyle.”

The announcement is just the start for Kiwi Property, with additional developments expected to follow over time.

Approximately 1,200 apartments could potentially be built across Sylvia Park in the medium term, transforming the location into a major residential hub.

Resource consent is also being sought for a 245-unit build-to-rent tower at Auckland’s LynnMall, with the potential for the site to one day accommodate more than 600 apartments.

“This is a pivotal moment in Kiwi Property’s history, as we take a major step forward in the delivery of our mixed-use strategy,” Mackenzie says.

“Build-to-rent is set to become a significant part of our portfolio, helping to diversify our asset base and unlock growth.

“Today’s announcement signals an important strategic shift for the company and demonstrates our commitment to delivery, for our shareholders, our community and the residents who will soon call Sylvia Park home.”