The front page of the NZ Herald yesterday highlighted some telling indications of future sustainable drivers of the Auckland and NZ real estate market. For whilst we are in the midst of a seriously stalling property market, you have to look to the future to see where this market may be 5 years from now.
The lead article featured the artists impression of the proposed 41 storey office and retail development on the Downtown Shopping centre. This development coupled with the 67 storey apartment tower at the Elliot are being proposed by developers who are not novices to such developments. They are making proposals having spent many thousands of man hours and potentially millions of dollars researching the key drivers of demand in the commercial and residential market over the next 10 to 20 years – their verdict is clear. Auckland is growing and will continue to grow, as a consequence it will need places for people to work and places for people to live.
Adding to this list of new progressive looking developments is the latest proposal for a harbour tunnel to provide the solution which is so desperately needed, to solve the traffic issues of Auckland. This proposal following hard-on-the-heels of similar proposals foretell the likelihood of a second harbour crossing actually being built in our lifetimes. Again the sustainable drivers of a growing population and growing economy in the longer term more than justify this likely multi-billion dollar investment.
Further adding to these future developments was the excellent piece penned by Alex Swney celebrating the completion of the 5 year refurbishment of Queen Street as the epicenter of Auckland’s retail and commercial heart. As CEO of Heart of the City and passionate Aucklander (as well as mayoral candidate) Alex has admirably championed the vibrancy and vitality of this precinct and made what was once a dark and dull “bitty” shopping and working environment into a bright and interesting metropolis. The proof to this regeneration and vibrancy as Alex says is best reflected when you:
“..talk to any realtor and they will tell you of the heightened level of interest from major international brands to secure Queen St space as it boasts pedestrian counts up to 10 times higher than any other high street in the country, underpinned by 80,000 workers, 70,000 students and 20,000 residents.”
As Alex says Auckland is growing up, it is no longer the difficult adolescent, highly self conscious; it can mix with the best in the world as a center of business and lifestyle.
In terms of the assessing the future have a look at the initiative set up by the regional council entitled “Auckland Plus” designed to articulate the business proposition for Auckland. This is the showcase of how Auckland can and does promote itself in the business of cities fighting to attract talent, capital and business to grow the future economic wealth of this city and this country – a highly competitive arena in which to compete.
The future of NZ is inextricably tied to the future of Auckland and from these developments we can start to see the other side of this current economic and real estate slump, a side that is based on sustainable drivers of economic growth which always have a flow on effect to real estate.