Apartment living: the upside

Camellia Yang
Apartment living: the upside

 

An estimated 57,000 people currently live in Auckland’s central business district. According to the Auckland Plan 2050, that figure is projected to more than double by 2048.

Accelerating urbanisation will lead Auckland’s population growth to a new level. And apartment living is becoming more desirable for people who are seeking a convenient and affordable living option.   

Tasha, a media executive in her early 30s, foresaw her urban lifestyle back in 2015.

“I bought my apartment off the plans in December 2015 and moved in in July 2018.”

“The reason why I picked apartment living was the security, with low maintenance. I’m able to lock up and leave to go away on weekends.”

And the only house options for comparable prices were in the outer suburbs, she says.

“If you want to buy property in Auckland, buying an apartment instead of a house means you don’t have to live in the wop wops.”

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Kylie, a serial entrepreneur, lives in an apartment with her 11-year-old son and enjoys the safety and convenience of the heart of city.

“I got my first apartment when I was studying in city centre. Since then, I’ve been living in apartments for almost 20 years,” Kylie says.

“I go on business trips a lot. Apartment living doesn’t cost me much effort on maintenance. The amenities provided by the apartment also help me to save time.”

“Living in the city centre only takes me walking distance to meetings and activities. Also, it’s close to my kid’s school so I’m at ease letting my kid to go to school by himself.”

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Tasha and Kylie say apartment living isn’t all up-side though.

According to Tasha, one of the main disadvantages is whinging neighbours.

“Some people really like to nit-pick on silly things and get way too involved in what their neighbours do on their balconies,” Tasha says.

“For me, I’d like to have a trampoline for my kid and a BBQ stove in my yard. Those are the things you wouldn’t expect to get in a normal apartment,” Kylie says.

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Frank Xu, the president of the New Zealand Chinese Building Industry Association (NZCBIA), and the Project Manager of the tallest apartment in Auckland Seascape, said apartment living was an inevitable trend in Auckland.

“A lot of first home buyers and young people are being priced out of the housing market, so apartments would be their first option. Recently, I found out more and more elders are considering apartment living too,” Xu says.

“The apartment price in the CBD is around $14,000 to $20,000 per square metre. And apartment prices in the suburbs is around two-thirds of the house prices there. Many elders will sell their houses to downsize their living environment in the same suburb and still have a decent amount of money for their retirement.”

“Many people complain that the living space is not enough for apartment living. I think the market will change in order to respond to customers’ demand.”

“For example, we are working on an apartment project located not too far from Auckland city centre. There will be 65% shared open spaces mainly landscape or other amenities plus 35% building coverage areas. Residents would mainly use public transport to go to work (TOD – Transit Oriented Development). This new kind of apartment living concept will benefit family with kids and more suitable for New Zealanders’ lifestyle,” Mr. Xu said. 

For those of you who are planning to catch the trend and about to move to apartment, Tasha has some tips of preparing for your first apartment.

“I looked for heaps of deals on Harvey Norman and Briscoes. I also went to some discount furniture stores and found some second hand gems on Dominon Road.I would always invest in an epic couch and bed.”

“Learning to organise your finances can be quite daunting, but I found it easiest just to set up heaps of automatic payments so you don’t miss anything.”

 

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