Again the story of the east frame is in the headlines. From my experience over recent weekends of open homes, I can certainly say that people do want to live in the inner city and of course they still want their car parks, as mentioned in the article by Liz McDonald.
The article also comments that Treasury have noticed a mismatch between what Fletcher has built and what buyers want. I agree. Most buyers in these price ranges want some input into the final design, for example interior colours and finishes. As Fletchers don't sell off the plans, they are unable adjust any aspect of the build. They have no interaction with the buyers prior to building completion. Fletchers rather arrogantly expect the buyers to be pleased with all the interior choices they have made. This lack of buyer involvement severely affects the sales process, people want to put their individual stamp on their home.
Interestingly no one interviewed in the article mentioned (I think) the real impediment to apartment building, that complexes have a limit of four storeys. Apartment buildings in Wellington, for example, are typically 7-8 storeys with 50-200 apartments per complex. The complexes mentioned in the article struggle to get past 20 apartments per complex, the exception is of course 36 Welles Street with 100 apartments, of which about 20-23 are still for sale.
The buyers I have spoken to say they want apartments on one level. That's because the people looking in the city in the $500,000 plus price range are aging. Most of the Fletcher apartments are on three levels. Not great for bad knees and arthritic joints. City living should be easier not harder. So there's lots Fletchers could do - watch this space.
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