21 Jul 2016

A housing deal that's almost too good to be true

10:53 am on 21 July 2016

A charitable trust is offering first home buyers apartments with a price tag at least $150,000 below market value.


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Photo: Graphic: 123RF

In a unique bid to tackle Auckland's housing crisis, a private school charitable trust is offering first-home buyers a chance to buy apartments in a proposed west Auckland complex for $550,000 - at least $150,000 below market value.

The West Evangelical Schools Trust is offering 30 two-bedroom and six three-bedroom apartments for sale.

The trust said it was not aiming to maximise profit, but any profits would go into its two private Christian schools.

About 40 potential buyers turned up to the trust’s first meeting with potential buyers last night at the New Lynn Bowling Club.

Jenna Richards, 27, was one of the hopefuls vying for the almost too-good-to-be-true deal. She and her husband have been looking for an affordable home to raise their young daughter in for almost two years.

“We’ve been looking in the property market for so long now, it’s discouraging. But then you come to something like this that’s almost, finally, encouraging for us who are wanting to get into our own home.”

Nicole and Scott, both 27, say they’ve exhausted all their options in trying to secure their first home.

“We’ve started looking outside of Auckland; Tauranga, Hamilton. To be honest, I think this might be our only option at the moment,” Nicole said.  

The trust’s chairperson, Alan Henry, said buyers could, on a first-in-first-served basis, pick which apartment they wanted, but they must be buying their first home, and they must stay in it for five years.

Henry said he hoped the project would be the start of a trend.

“The point is, if this model works, then there’s nothing to stop a hundred other people from doing the same. And if a hundred people use the same model, I think there’s an opportunity to, maybe, turn the monster around”.  

Construction on the apartments is set to start early next year.

- Story by RNZ reporter Carla Penman