Housing Minister Phil Twyford says more KiwiBuild deals with large-scale construction firms are in the pipeline as he announced a deal with Mike Greer Homes for 104 units in West Auckland and Christchurch.
Mike Greer has a track record of building large numbers of new homes after the Canterbury earthquakes and in the past has claimed to be the country’s largest builder of residential dwellings.
Today’s announcement is the first to include KiwiBuild homes in the Canterbury region, where house prices have been stable or falling in recent times owing to strong supply following a construction boom in the wake of the 2010 and 2011 quakes.
At $360,000 each for 11 two-bedroom standalone homes in Kaiapoi, these will also be the lowest-cost KiwiBuild houses to be offered so far.
“Our first KiwiBuild homes in Christchurch are part of the government’s plan to ensure house prices there remain stable and we meet the strong demand for more homes that is forecast over the coming years,” Twyford said in a statement.
The first of the 104 homes have already been built.
“Other homes will be built in Huapai, Whenuapai, Pukekohe, Kaiapoi, Rolleston, Pegasus, Woodend, Rangiora, Halswell, Marshland, and Spreydon,” said Twyford, who has been struggling to demonstrate progress on the ambitious KiwiBuild scheme. Earlier this year, he conceded it would not reach its first-year target of 1,000 new homes.
The policy aims to build 100,000 ‘affordable’ houses over a decade to help deal with chronic housing unaffordability in parts of New Zealand. Political battles are raging over the definition of affordability and the extent to which the government house-building will crowd out private developers who would have built homes anyway.
The Mike Greer-contracted homes would be completed “between now and mid-2020 and are a mix of two- and three-bedroom, standalone and terraced homes, ranging from $360,000 to $650,000,” Twyford said in a statement.
The agreement showed KiwiBuild was “gathering momentum”.
“Mike Greer is one of the largest residential construction firms in New Zealand, and has been building homes for over 25 years,” Twyford said. “I hope these 104 homes will be just the first of many we will build with Mike Greer over the coming years.
“I am aware of a number of other large agreements with big developers that KiwiBuild is finalising. These deals have taken longer than I hoped to conclude, but we’re starting to see really good progress.”