Cranes on skyline promise rise in off-the-plan purchases


If you’re worried about the future of our economy and wondering if this is the right time to buy a property, look no further than the skyline for your answer.

We have a record 150 cranes erected across New Zealand – a true sign of long-term confidence in the economy and the property sector.

More than half of the cranes (52%) are building new homes, including 14 working on aged care, retirement living and build-to-rent projects. Some 108 are in Auckland.

It’s the first time residential cranes have outnumbered those working on commercial properties, according to the latest RLB Crane Index.

Why is this important? Because property is a long-term game, and smart buyers think beyond today’s headlines. 

With all this crane and building activity, there’s likely to be an increase in off-the-plan purchases. A mortgage adviser can help you navigate the process to obtain a loan for this special type of purchase.

Here are six tips if you’re thinking of buying off-the-plan:

  1. Understand the risk. Buying off-the-plan can be inherently risky because you’re buying into property that does not exist yet. While the goal is for the price to rise, it is possible for the value to actually drop in value after the completion of the build. Discuss the risks with your financial adviser and make sure you are prepared for any eventuality.
  2. Do your research. You’ll want to feel confident that you are dealing with a well-known developer with a good track record and understand how comparable the prices are to stock currently on the market. 
  3. Being an early buyer in a project will give you a wider choice of apartments in your price bracket.
  4. Know how high you want to go up. Make sure you’re comfortable with the access to your apartment. Where there is full occupancy, the stop-start nature of elevators can be an important consideration if ease of access is important to you.
  5. Can you get to the development’s facilities quickly? Easy access from your apartment to the car park, gym and swimming pool could help encourage you to use them more, which makes the strata fees more warranted.
  6. Will you get good views? When looking at a floor plan and scale model, it is easy to forget this aspect. Make sure you know what your windows and balcony will overlook.
  7. Don’t forget the sun. North-facing apartments are popular because they best capture the sun and the light. If you’re looking at south-facing units, be aware they’ll spend much of the time in shadow.
  8. Be alert to noise issues. Check whether your selection of an apartment building is overlooking a busy freeway, train line or bus stop. Check with the developer to ensure the building is sufficiently insulated from traffic noise.