Hastings Land Grab Stuns Developers
Updated: Apr 23, 2019
John O'Sullivan and Greenstone Director Tim Wilkins
A subdivision Open Day in Hastings yesterday was over almost before it began as buyers swooped in a frenzy of unprecedented demand caused by the housing shortage in Hawke’s Bay.
Greenstone Land Development director and Lyndhurst project manager Tim Wilkins said buyers were waiting “when we arrived,” and contracts were soon being signed on the last of the 28 Stages 3 and 4 sections at the Regional Sports Park end of a 175-section development programmed over five years between Lyndhurst and Arbuckle roads.The latest release of 15 sections ranging from 540 to 700 square metres and selling from $220,000 to $257,000, followed a release nine days earlier to building-industry buyers.In the interest of developing a “liveable” neighbourhood, buyers were limited to no more than two sections and were not allowed to purchase neighbouring sites.Mr Wilkins said most buyers need their homes “now”, but it will be at least another month before anything starts on the subdivision, the sold sections being around an as-yet-unformed road and a cul-de-sac spreading the development towards Edwards St.He was stunned with the response which started with the buyer interest at a May 11 pre-launch barbecue, which led to a decision to bring forward the Stage 4 release which had been scheduled for August.Some people left disappointed yesterday after being unable to buy any of the sections, and Mr Wilkins said: “I’ve been in land development in Hawke’s Bay for 20 years, and I’ve never seen anything like it my life.”“Demand is phenomenal. We were overwhelmed by the interest and had multiple buyers for most of the sections.”“It’s well publicised that there is a major shortage of land ready to be developed and we’ve worked as quickly as we can to get this land to market,” he said. “However, we didn’t expect the first sites to be snapped up so quickly.”He said that while Hastings District Council is aware of the need and had worked closely with Greenstone since changing the land’s zoning from deferred residential to residential,it was “vitally important” the council delivered infrastructure so building could start.He said key council staff were focused on delivering water to Hastings and Havelock North, but it was also important that additional resources are put into Lyndhurst infrastructure, such as sewerage, stormwater and roading.To deter land-banking, a cause of the current housing shortage, buyers are required to build on the covenanted sites within two years.Greenstone director and Tumu Group owner John O’Sullivan said he was surprised by the demand despite knowing builders had been waiting in anticipation of the release of the ready-to-build land last week.“We’ve had builders and other trades coming into our Tumu ITM stores over the last few months asking us if we knew of any land that is set to become available,” he said. “So they have been eagerly awaiting this release. It proves that there is a real shortage of land that’s ready to be built on now.”Article from NZ Herald
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