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Article From RadioNZ:


“Housing Minister Phil Twyford confirmed the plans for the new development this morning, describing it as state of the art.”
“The current state housing high-rise that sits at 139 Greys Ave will soon be demolished to make way for 280 new units.”
“Built in 1957, Housing New Zealand said the high-rise was nearing the end of its life and was no longer fit for purpose.”

Apartment Specialists New Zealand Auckland CBD Apartments | Apartment Specialists Apartment Specialists NZ

Our Takeaway:

Great news that they are finally replacing the current eye sore in Grey Street just up from Aotea Square however if you are a property owner or buyer you may want to take this into account.

Traditionally, public housing decreases values so this development I expect will lover values within roughly a 300m radius
500 more lower decile occupants is a lot of people. Safety, security and peoples perception of value will all be affected…..so this is not good news for Grey Street and the neighboring Vincent street.
Hopefully, the council can prove me wrong through their integration idea but I would be sceptical.


A multi offer means more than one buyer has made an offer on the apartment – it means you have to put your best possible offer forward as you only get one chance and if you miss out, unfortunately there is nothing can be done about it.

When putting in an offer you need to consider how much you will pay and how you will feel if you miss out on this purchase.

When being told there is a mulit offer You will be notified by your agent that this is a multi-offer situation and you should be asked to sign form explaining that you have understood the situation.


If it comes to the stage where your offer was not accepted and you would have paid more, unfortunately there is nothing that can be done or changed. This can be frustrating or disappointing for you.


Character apartment pros: unique, high stud, less facilities equal less Body Corporate fess, low maintenance, solid, ability to renovate and make homely.

Character apartment cons: Low earthquake ratings, often have been converted from a building designed for something else, lack of carparks.

There are many pros of character apartments. They are timeless and all unique, they will never be built the same again. Most true character apartments ceiling are high stud which gives the illusion of more space and a bigger floor area. Most character buildings don’t have the facilities like a pool or a gym, this is a pro as they facilities are often unused but increase the cost of the Body Corporate fees. Character buildings are built well and this often means the maintenance and the likelihood of major works are low. With character apartments being all individual and effort allows you the autonomy to renovate how you please and make your home.

The main concerns when buying a character apartment is the low earthquake ratings. Anything about 34% is pass and means the likelihood of problems is low. Many character apartments have been converted to apartment and the building was originally designed for another reason. This is not the issue, but additions made after the conversion can be problematic if they weren’t done to high standard and properly.

With all this said, don’t let this deter you from purchasing in a character building. With thorough due diligence they are a fantastic investment.


Andrew Murray from the Apartment Specialists, talking about character apartments, the pros and the cons; though I personally own character apartments and have sold hundreds of character apartments and I personally love them.

First, we start with the pros and that is supply. There simply aren’t any more being built; and even if a developer wanted to build them, they couldn’t because they are just simply too expensive. We all know that with supply and demand, if you’re not having more supply, well obviously the values long term is going to go upwards.

Number two, high stud. A lot of character apartments have higher ceilings than normal – nearly all of them. And that makes the apartment feel bigger. That small area of say 70 square metres feels 90 square metres because you’ve got a three metre stud. Design is another big one, because if you look at these new buildings now, in ten years and time, they become dated. Just look at something like say Key West, down at the bottom of Albert Street. It’s starting to look dated and once upon a time, that was one of the most premium apartment buildings around.

If you have an apartment complex that’s built with a, say futuristic design, they age the most. But character, they just simply always look good.

Number four, facilities. They don’t usually come with a pool and a gym which nobody uses so you don’t have to experience costs and maintenance around that area.

Number five, maintenance. Now, if the conversion was done properly and you don’t have any issues; they’ve been around for 60, 70, 80, 100 years. They’ve stood the test of time and there isn’t the same amount of maintenance needed in most cases.

Now, the other one is why some people love character apartments? It’s simply your own canvas. The potential when it comes through innovation is huge. It’s not like this sort of carbon copy approach, which is done with mirror apartments, where every single apartment of that configuration is the same on every single level. With a character apartment, you can look at each one and its completely different, and you can make it a home.

Now, for the most important thing of this podcast, it is the other cons.

Number one,  you’ve all heard about it – its earthquake ratings. Now, the pass is 34%. 33% with a character apartment is a fail.

Often I hear agents saying, “They’re going to change. This is a character apartment and they’re going to lower it.” It’s not going to happen. I’ve spoken to a lot of experts about this and structural engineers. They put that in place for the safety of the people, so they’re not going to lower it. And the thing is, when we come to strengthen a building, it comes at a huge cost. So no matter how attractive that character appeal is of that apartment, learn to be able to walk away when there’s a low earthquake rating. The other one is what I mentioned just before, conversions.

Most of these character apartments were not initially character apartments. They were just character buildings and they could have been used for office blocks – and all kinds of reasons. I came across one the other day that was used for a dog pound. Now, when they we’re turned into apartments, some of them had extra floors added that were modern, or extra decks – often that were done incorrectly. A lot of them were done in the 90s, and you’ve got huge problems with a lot of character apartments with the additions that were made later.

If there had been additions made, make sure you check them out thoroughly and make sure there are no issues there. If not, absolutely fine. The other one is a lot of them don’t have car parks and that really frustrates me, especially if you’re an owner-occupier. Their location is really important to make sure that car parking is available. Because people, whether we like it or not, are still bound to our cars; and until our public transport system really improves – which is a big ask – it’s really important. So that hurts yourself when you’re living in it and when you go to sell that property.

If you don’t have parking options around, it can hurt the sale price. And then the last one is numbers. So, if there are major costs involved or strengthening, or any issues, or maybe the windows need to be replaced because they’ve been there for seventy years. Often, the character apartment buildings, there are fewer apartments because one thing, which I didn’t add, is that most character apartments are large and the buildings aren’t 30 stories high, obviously, so there are fewer apartments. When there are fewer apartments, there’s less apartments to share a cost. If there are major works that need to be done, then the costs are often greater per owner.

Anyway, hope that helps. Character apartments, absolutely love them. If you do the right due diligence, you can’t go wrong. Hope that helps. Cheers.

Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists.


Purchasing an apartment from overseas is a frequent occurrence in Auckland and with sound due diligence a more than achievable task with little stress involved.

Buying from overseas does have its risks, the reason for that is due to not being on the ground and having the ability to see the apartment physically.

Factors to consider and practices that are recommended pre overseas purchases in Auckland are to have either a friend or family member or an independent rental agent who is not associated with the company who is selling the apartment to do a viewing for you. Photos cannot always be relied on.

Secondly, a building inspection is key and well worth the money.

Ensure you have a relationship with a lawyer, create this prior to purchase and make sure they are a lawyer who understands and has done many apartment sales.

Clauses in the agreement are important and protect you during the sale, if there is nothing wrong with the apartment the agent will happily add these in for you.

Lastly, the final factor to consider is getting a rental agent to assess what rent can be expected and tenants that you are likely to attract.


Andrew Murray from Apartment Specialists. Buying an Auckland apartment from overseas. How do you do it, and how do you do it properly?

Now the Auckland apartment market is booming at the moment, and the future looks very bright through the years to come. And, yes, everyone is making money. But the thing is, buying from overseas has its risks. And I see this happen time and time again where an overseas purchaser will purchase something that they may have not purchased if they were actually here. I suppose that’s the best way I can say it. And the reason for that is a real state agent is in a position of trust.

Now the thing is is because you’re overseas or being a buyer and you’re buying overseas, you’re not on that ground floor. You’re not able to do the things you’d like to do if you were actually say in Auckland. So what I’ve done is form five steps that will ensure that your purchase is not only a profitable one but a safe one, and you’re getting what you’re wanting to achieve. And how you do that is by surrounding independent advisors around you.

So first of all, for number one, don’t rely just on the photos. The photos may be missing certain things. So what I recommend you to do is get a friend or family member that you can trust to come and inspect the apartment for you. Now if you don’t have that person in Auckland, I would engage an independent rental manager from a company that is not the company of the real estate agent to do an inspection for you and they can give a report back to you.

Now number two, get a building inspection. Now a lot of Kiwi buyers don’t do this. I still think they should, but being an overseas buyer, it is mandatory. You’ve got to get a building inspection and the reason for that is they go through it with a fine tooth comb and yes, they may bring up small things or things that are damaged here and there but if you didn’t, you’re going to end up paying for it at settlement. And worst case scenario, they’re going to be more likely to pick up something if there’s an issue with the apartment or the complex.

Number three. Create a relationship with a lawyer. Now that’s an obvious one because you’re going to have to buy the apartment, but create your relationship before you purchase. The reason I’m saying that is because then they can get you advice on how to go into that purchase. Now also make sure you choose a lawyer that is experienced with the kind of apartment you’re purchasing. So not only apartments, but if you’re buying a leasehold apartment make sure they’re experienced with leasehold apartments. But absolutely a minimum, make sure they do a lot of apartment sales because, for example a lawyer that’s down in another part of the country or another part of Auckland where there’s not many apartments, doesn’t really have the expertise to to give you the service you need.

Now, number four, clauses in the agreement. So these are things you put in the sale and purchase agreement to give you extra protection. Now if there’s nothing wrong with the apartment or nothing wrong with the complex, an agent should have no problem with putting clauses in the agreement. And these are clauses like, “This agreement is conditional upon my lawyer’s approval of the last two years of body corporate minutes and maybe the formal content of this agreement, et cetera, et cetera.”

Now number five is rental income. Do not rely on the rental income even that of the apartment’s getting or what’s on the flyer. Now yes, real estate agent will be doing it– has to actually do it of what’s realistic but for you to really rely on it, I would get an independent rental assessment from again a company that is not under the same umbrella, who is not part of the company that the real estate agent is part of.

So through those five steps, that enables you to have a pretty full-proof way of purchasing and that means you are able to purchase from overseas and be a lot more comfortable through the whole process.

Now I work for a lot of purchasers that are overseas and obviously I follow this when I’m working with them. Now it is also hard to find the right people to use, so feel free to flick me an email: andrew@apartmentspecialists.co.nz. Even if you don’t buy through us, I can give you a list of people who are experienced in whatever area you need and they can send it through to you.

Anyway, I hope that helps and happy purchasing. Cheers!

If you want to know more about apartment buying in Auckland, just email me at andrew@apartmentspecialists.co.nz or call +6421 424 892 and we will happily help you or connect you with the right people.


Pros: In upmarket buildings where the facilities are large enough to cater for many people to use at a time – this then makes the difference and is worthwhile.

Cons: not often are the facilities good enough to cater for the number of people living in the building and the maintenance can become costly

Pools, gyms and tennis courts add to the amount of your Body Corporate fees annually and are facilities not often used and often need maintenance.

However, there are exceptions to the rule where there are high end buildings in Auckland that have superior facilities.

The major factor to consider is if the facilities are large enough to cater for the number of people in the building and would you use them. If this is the case, then it is worth your while paying the extra Body Corporate fees and may increase the value of your apartment.


Andrew Murray from Apartment Specialists. Is an apartment complex with swimming pools, gyms and tennis courts, do they add value or just increase your body corporate fees?

Now if I was going to give a generalised answer across the board, I would be saying they’re a complete waste of money. There’s always something going wrong with them. You never actually use them. I own several apartments and I live in an apartment complex, I never use it and the whole time I think of using it, there’s someone else using it. So if I had a blank board again at the end, I’d say they’re a complete waste of money.

Now there’s always an exception to this rule and that’s if these facilities are outstanding. For example, The Pullman, you’ve got a pool you can actually do laps in and you can actually sunbathe around the side. They usually take away the roof. Or in Metropolis, you’ve got a gym where you’ve got multiple machines.

The good way of looking at it is does the gym or the pool free, or would someone actually pay to use that as a stand alone. If they could, then that a small gym in itself, or a small pool in itself? And in that case, yes it definitely adds value, but otherwise it’s just a complete waste of money.

Some examples of this is you’ll see these apartments or these complexes that have these pools that are probably a couple of meters wide. Some are eight meters long and they’re basically washing machines. I see a lot of them with these off the plan apartments, I’ll give you an example is the Queen Residences. I saw the photos of how they’re selling the apartment. I looked at the pool, and I said, “That would be great at my house, but not for 280 plus apartments.”

Anyway, I hope that helps. You decide when you’re looking at that apartment complex, does that pool or gym actually achieving or increasing the value or is it just going to cause you problems?

Cheers, bye!

Do you have any questions so you can get the best deals when buying an apartment in Auckland? Download our Buyers Guide to get much sought after insights. You can also email andrew@apartmentspecialists.co.nz or call +6421 424 892 and we will happily answer any questions you might have.

how much do you need to buy an apartment

Apartment Specialists Podcast No: 156


How much do you need to deposit when buying an apartment? What are the restrictions and bank limitations when you are taking out a loan for an apartment purchase? Watch the video and read the article to get more information and insights about getting your financial needs in order when buying an apartment.

How Much Do You Need to Buy an Apartment

As an overview the basics on how much you need to buy an apartment are pretty straight forward and can be put into three different categories.

1) Owner occupiers apartments or apartments with the most capital gain opportunity.

These apartments are not your shoe boxes and so are of a descent size. To buy one of these apartments you will need at least a 20% deposit.

2) Investor Apartments or Income focused apartments.

These are your smaller apartments, income focused and to buy one of these apartments you will need at least a 50% deposit.

3) Lease hold apartments.

These are generally lifestyle purchasers or in some cases high return purchases. To buy a leasehold apartment you will need a deposit of at least 50%

Now, unfortunately it is not that simple. BANK CRITERIA makes it quite confusing as they are all different and cause a lot of buyers to waste a lot of time and energy.

For a buyer, there is nothing more frustrating than finding the perfect apartment only to find out that you can’t buy it because the bank won’t give you the money you need.

For example Banks have restrictions on:

  • Apartment size (i.e. if an apartment is under 40m2 or with another ban 50m2)
  • Apartments in hotel leases
  • Apartments that are in a building that once was used for something else (i.e. an office building that has been converted to an apartment)
  • Apartments that are leasehold
  • Specific Apartment buildings

And plenty more.

This is why I highly recommend seeing a broker who will, for free, match you with the best bank for your needs and at the lowest rate; and in most cases, get you a better deal than if you walked in off the street.

The important thing however is to use a top mortgage broker who knows apartments and has relationships high up in the banks.

What do you need to know about Apartment Buying in Auckland? How do you get the best deals? Download our Buyers Guide to get much sought after insights. You can also email andrew@apartmentspecialists.co.nz or call +6421 424 892 to get the best Auckland apartment expert to help you.


How much do you need to buy an apartment? Andrew Murray from Apartment Specialists here. I’ll be talking about how much money you need to by an apartment.

Everyone is talking about apartments. We all know that finance is different when coming to buy a house compared to buying an apartment. I’m going to first start off with the basics, and you can put apartments into three categories when talking about purchasing.

We’re talking about owner/occupier or capital gain purchases. Number two, being investor apartment purchases. These ones are more income-focused. Then three which is leasehold apartments and  lifestyle purchase or in some cases – very, very high return purchases. All this because of the negative stigma surrounding the leasor.

Number one, being an owner/occupier or a capital gain purchase. Now, your finance is generally restricted to give a blanket rule to about 80%. These are apartments of a decent size. If you’re going to buy an apartment that’s $400,000, you’re going to need an $80,000 deposit. If you’re going to buy an apartment that’s $500,000, you’re going to need $100,000 deposit and so on.

Number two, your investor apartments which are focused more on income. These are your small apartments. Because they’re restricted by bank criteria, that means the prices are lower and the rents are higher compared to the prices. This means you’ll get a higher return.

These apartments are restricted by the banks that’s why the finance is only 50%. If you’re going to buy an investor apartment, say as a smaller apartment, then that means you only need it financed for around about 50%. However, if you’re buying a $300,000 apartment, you’re going to need $150,000, which is quite restrictive. That’s why it’s generally an apartment you buy later in life when income’s more important than capital gain.

Number three, our leasehold apartments. This is your lifestyle purchase or your purchase with a view to high return, because it’s a smaller apartment. It’s leasehold but because of the stigma and the lack of people being able to purchase, less people purchase them. Leasehold across the board, generally speaking, is 50%. If you buy a leasehold apartment and they ask a million dollars, you’re going to have a $500,000 deposit. If you buy a leasehold apartment that’s $300,000, and you’re going to need $150,000 deposit.

Those are the basics and this is where it gets confusing. Every bank is different. One apartment that could be under the owner/occupier or capital gain purchase category in one bank, in another bank it could be an investor purchase. This is because of their size criteria. For example, ASB Bank will lend 80% on apartments 40 square metres or higher, where say Westpac will lend only 80% to apartments that are 50 square metres or higher. I’ll cover the actual current bank criteria in a different podcast, but that gives you an idea.

There’s nothing more frustrating than a purchaser coming to purchase an apartment to find out that their bank won’t give them the money they need. Put yourself in that situation. You’ve found that apartment and all of a sudden you can’t get finance. Now, on top of this, they also have restrictions on apartments and hotel leases.

Apartments that have been converted, for example, a used office blocks or used for something else, and it has been converted into apartments, it will often go for 65%, a common figure in most of the banks. And then they’ll also not lend on specific buildings if they’ve lent to too many people in that building. So, that’s another one you need to know from your banks – which apartments they won’t lend to.

Now that doesn’t mean that’s a bad apartment complex. It just means they’ve got too many clients that they’ve lent to in that building. I must agree, it does get confusing and there are plenty more rules when you get into finance. That’s why I do not advise going straight to a bank. I’d advise going to a broker, and make sure you go to one of the top brokers that specialise on apartments.

I can recommend you to some – just flick me an email. These are the ones that have relationships up high, and will get you better rates and better deals. You can get them free and what they do is they put them out to all the banks and see who will give you the best deal. They will also match the apartment you’re looking for, or what you’re looking for with the sizes.

I hope that helps. Andrew Murray talking about how much you need to purchase an apartment.


What do you need to know about Apartment Buying in Auckland? How do you get the best deals? Download our Buyers Guide to get much sought after insights. You can also email andrew@apartmentspecialists.co.nz or call +6421 424 892 to get the best Auckland apartment expert to help you.


It is highly unlikely that they will lower or raise the earthquake ratings from the current 34% as pass and 33% is not. This is due to the government lowering the risk and keeping the occupants of the building safe.

Is the 34% benchmark going to change? In short, no I don’t believe so and the reason is because of the opinions of others from the professionals like structural engineers and those in the industry who know.

What the strength indicators means, is that if the building is 34% rated, it means that it is one-third as strong as a new build. To ensure the safety of the occupants within the building it is highly unlikely that the benchmark will change.


Good day, Andrew Murray from the Apartment Specialists. I will be talking about earthquake ratings. Are they going to change?

The benchmark is 34%. Is it going to go up or is it going to go down? And the short answer is, no. You’re probably thinking, “Well how do you know? You just sell apartments.” Well, yes I live and breathe selling apartments, but you’re right, I can’t say this is from myself.

This is from me speaking to structural engineers and to people in this industry – in the building industry and asking their opinions. So, this is the opinions they’ve given me. I’m obviously passing that on to you. I do a lot of research to help me understand the market as well as, obviously, give the right advice to owners.

Basically what they sort of made me aware of is, that every 1% that earthquake rating changes, it costs the country about $700 million. That’s a lot. It’s being at 33% now means that 34% or higher is a pass. To raise that, every percent is going to cost a huge amount of money.

Now, another question I get asked is the earthquake rating going to go down? For example, 33% mark which could fail.  You think that could go down 20%? Now, from the research, I’ve done is that is extremely unlikely because this earthquake rating – to help you understand , it says 33% and that means it’s 33%.

The strength is in regard to a new building, so it means it’s one-third as strong as a new building and that’s built today in an earthquake zone. That also means is that because earthquakes work definitely—a building in an earthquake prone area.  It’s like if we’re saying an average earthquake, and that is at 33% compared to a brand new building, it will have ten times the damage. So for the council or the governing body to lower that, is to put people at risk, especially with apartments when they live in them.

So, for them to take that mark and bring it down, I highly doubt it because that would go against why they’ve actually put in these limitations in the first place. A bad earthquake rating or a failed earthquake rating, it’s bad news and it’s not good for many reasons. A lot of banks won’t even finance an apartment in a building with a low rating. It’s in a nutshell and I can’t see it changing, it’s a 33% mark, 34’s a pass, and obviously, the higher the better.

Thank you. Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists.


Know what you are buying before investing off the plans. Understand all the details to ensure you end up with what you expected. This video and bio will give you 8 points to consider before purchasing a new build off the plans.

8 Quick points

1: speak to a local agent – find out the actual worth of the apartment and what will the worth be upon completion, this will guide if you are paying a fair price for the apartment

2: Use your own lawyer – not the developers suggested lawyer

3: Research the developer, know their prior work and reputation

4: Research the architect -check out the quality and history of their prior work

5: Completion takes longer than expected – what are your rights? Know this before purchasing off the plans

6: The apartment upon completion has something wrong with it – for example there are structural pillars in the apartment that you weren’t expecting or appliances that don’t’ work – how do you ensure you are protected?

7: ensuring the sunlight and views are what you expected and will you always have them – finding out what is happening around the area and future developments

8: Digital imagery can be misleading – look at them with a cautious eye and use google images to aid your decision in buying off the plans


Good day, Andrew Murray from Apartment Specialists talking about buying off the plans. I’ve just done eight points there. We’ll make sure if you’re going to buy off the plans that it’s going to be a good purchase, because there are a lot of risks in coming to buying off the plans. Okay, here are the eight important points.

Number one is, when people buy off the plans, they often pay too much. Especially where a lot of the purchaser are overseas or just not in touch with the local market. The first thing you need to do is speak to a local agent. And maybe two local agents. Ask them, firstly, what if this apartment was built right now, what would it be worth in today’s market? When is it projected to be finished? With the market the way, it’s going, what do you think it would be worth then? Now, that’s going to give you a very clear indication regarding price, which is one of the most important things.

Number two is use your own lawyer or find a lawyer recommended by a friend. If you are from overseas, then its better using their suggested lawyers. Now, I’m not pointing fingers, since I’ve just heard and seen a lot of things happen. The reason for this is, it’s your lawyer’s job to check things like sunset clauses which, for example, you’re probably hearing that and going, “What does that mean?”

Well, that’s something that’s very important. That’s why your lawyer’s in charge and things like the developer can’t make any changes to the unit from when you purchase it. Until it’s, when it’s completed, if things change. You know, what happens if you find mistakes or errors or there are things that aren’t done correctly? All that kind of stuff, so do not use their lawyers.

Number three is to look at the developer’s history. When buying off the plans, you’re kind of buying into the future, but you can predict the future by looking at what apartments the developer has built in the past. How are they stacking up? Are they leaky? Have they had issues? Did their prices stay the same or did they grow in value? That kind of things.

Number four is is the architect’s history. The developer may be fine, but if they are using an architect, then you need to know the architect’s previous buildings, because at the end of the day it still comes down to design regarding whether it’s going to be leaky or not. It’s not just the developer. So always ask, “What other buildings has this architect designed?”

Now next, you want to know and obviously I mentioned it before – what can happen between you purchasing off the plans now and completion time? We want to ask, “What happens if it overruns?” For example, it takes longer than expected?

Next, what happens if you inspect your unit? It’s finished, but the appliances don’t work.What happens if, like in a high-profile case recently, your apartment is finished and you find that there is a pillar in the middle of your lounge? Are you protected? These are important things to know about.

Number seven is your views and your sunlight, and that is highly important. Most likely when you are buying off the plans, they are showing pictures of great views. Are they protected? Because off the plans, you have got no idea;  in the future something else could be built right in front of the apartment building. I’ve seen people buy off the plans and by the time the building’s finished, someone else has built a building right in front it. So you really need to check that out.

Number eight, is when you look at all these photo’s and they are giving you these graphical images, do not be taken away. You need to know if it’s taken-in by them. When you look at them, say, for example, when they look at that pool, ask, “How big is that pool?” I’ve seen pools in developments that have 250 apartments plus, and they’d be a great size if that pool was in my house, but not for an apartment complex. So, just make sure you look at those graphical images and just think logically and go, “Yes. Okay, maybe it looks beautiful, but would this be suitable for an apartment complex?”

Anyway, hope that helps. It was a bit too long, but buying off the plans, go through those eight points and you know, if it ticks all those boxes, go ahead.

Cheers, bye.


If buying off plans you should be looking for at least 100sqm and at the high end of the, market for top quality apartments.

Buying off plans can be an expensive – so if you are going to go ahead with buying off the plans, you should be buying big, at least 100sqm. When it comes to re sale the bigger you go the better.

Location is key, ensuring you are getting a view or premium area due the amount you are paying.

These investments are perfect for owner/occupiers and particularly for the older generation in terms of there being little to no maintenance and up keep of the property.

With high quality and larger apartments, you will have two bathrooms and the space will more than likely be used well.


Good day, Andrew Murray here from the Apartment Specialists. When would I buy off the plans?

If you look at what is selling off the plans, it is very expensive. It is already away from the masses to a degree. A good off the plan, say two bedroom apartment, you are looking at about $800,000. Sure you can buy ones for about $600,000, but they are generally the cheaper ones in the worst part of the building, or the lower floors with no view.

When I am looking at that demographic, you really want to go big or you want to go large. People who are going to be buying these expensive apartments, and the values are going to go up, they are not that different to the price of houses. The key thing would be size and I would want to be buying at apartment. If it was off the plans at, at least, over 100 square metres and the bigger the better.Probably, maybe even towards 150 square metres.

This is because I see the Baby Boomers, where they’re going to be moving out of their houses and looking for an apartment to live. They are not ready to go into an old person’s home, it is happening later. Sorry, I don’t mean to cause offense in that way. So, that’s another one, size.

Then number two is location. It has to be either in the French suburbs, like the high quality suburbs where houses are expensive, or towards the bottom of town. It maybe towards the centre of town, where Aotea Square is, or on the western side towards Wynyard Quarter and around that area. In towards Ponsonby and all that kind of thing, but that’s obviously the fringes. That’s number two.

Number Three, obviously, the floor plans that’s using every square metre. That means it is going to have two bathrooms and not to have too many in a complex. It is about the owner-occupier and that is when I would buy off the plans. This is because I see that is really moving. Although it is expensive now, you are going to be selling to a market where there isn’t enough quality stock out there in apartments. An elderly couple can’t live in the family home for the rest of their life. There is too much upkeep and there is too much to do. The kids have left home and they are sitting there sort of with their dog.

So, that is what I would be looking for if I was going to be buying off the plans. The reason why I would disregard all the other stock is because you can buy it for so much cheaper in the secondary market. The market that is already been built, and as long as you do your due diligence properly. You go and do building inspections, you look at the developer and the history – you cannot go wrong in the secondary market. Otherwise you are just paying too much.

My opinion is you just are not going to get your money back and I mean you will long term, because obviously property always goes up, but not short term.

Anyway, thank you. Cheers.


Apartments that were leaky and have now been fixed by are a good buy. This is because prior to the apartments being fixed the Council were sued for millions and millions of dollars for not doing a thorough Code of Compliance check upon completion of developments. The council are so thorough when checking a building that have been repaired, there simply is no room for error or upset.


Good day, Andrew Murray here from the Apartment Specialists. Today we will be talking about leaky buildings.

I don’t mean by leaky buildings as in they are leaking now. It is the ones that have been fixed and have got their code of compliance from the council. Now, are these a good buy? In fact, I think they should actually have a premium. The reason why is, what happened with the councils is, especially in the 2000s, you had a lot of developers go bust. A lot of companies involved in the fixing and building of apartments, a lot of these construction companies go bust.

When you had a leaky issue, the last person standing is the council. The council got hit really hard, and has been getting hit really hard because of this. What they have done is, they have gone to the extreme where they were pretty, in my opinion, loose when it came to giving a code of compliance. Now, they have been so strict that it takes months and months to get this code. Sometimes it is almost the other way around.

Now, that is an extremely good thing. They do not want to be liable, they do not want to be sued for millions and millions of dollars like they have been. A building that has been fixed, and when I say that, I mean probably around 2010/2011 onwards. I do not believe the code of compliance process was as strict as it is now.

But a leaky building now that has been fixed, should actually have a premium. The last apartment I have just bought actually was a leaky building, and major one. I think it is an extremely good buy when I looked into it, with the new cladding systems and the code of compliance which is granted by the council, of course, and they are liable if it leaks.

You have to ask yourself that question: a building that has leaked and is now fixed is one of the best buys around, in my opinion, because you have that trust. You know that moving forward, everything has been done correctly.

Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists.