Auckland City

including Central Business District, Newton and Grafton

Suburb Specialists

Auckland must have been one of the last cities in the world to catch on to apartment living, but there’s no doubt that it’s now a vital part of our real estate scene. Inner city living is a natural for those emigrating from apartment-oriented cities and for students who want to be close to uni and the nightlife, but they’re not the only ones who refuse to spend their Saturday afternoons mowing lawns. There’s a significant number of empty- nesters selling the suburban family home, settling into a comfortable apartment and enjoying their free time and disposable income. Auckland’s CBD is blessed with beautiful parks, so any hankering for some maintenance-free great outdoors is easily assuaged. The best address in the CBD is definitely the Viaduct, which went off with a bang during America’s Cup fever and has stayed on top of the heap ever since.

Who Lives There?

As well as the ageing baby boomers, central Auckland is home to many young people. Most rent, while others buy, disillusioned at ever being able to enter the conventional housing market (which starts at just under $700,000 for anything decent in the ‘burbs) but who can buy a freehold city studio (26-32 m2) say, for maybe $220,000. The obvious attraction of walking to work and not having to take out a second mortgage to fill the car with petrol brings many young professionals who can toil, play, eat and sleep within a kilometre-wide circle. Despite recent immigration downturns, the city is still a magnet for new arrivals and ex-pats. The numbers of Asian students may be less these days as many of the language schools have diversified or closed down, but there are still plenty of students generally. There are now “serial city residents”, those who have tried it, liked it and have upgraded or just figured out exactly what they like about apartment living and bought to suit.

Typical Homes

As you’d expect, the city scene is apartments and more apartments, ranging in size and quality. New apartment buildings keep emerging, albeit at a slightly slower pace than the past few years. Many city apartments are of variable quality and not all are freehold. Leasehold apartments are found particularly around the Viaduct, Princes Wharf and the railway station developments and some owners have been stung by rising ground rents. Size definitely does matter when it comes to apartments. Auckland Council has set minimum guidelines of 35m2 for new studio apartments and 45m2 for new one bedroom apartments. Banks generally won’t lend on the smallest apartments (although other lenders may). There are older-style houses in nearby Grafton and Newton, but many of the cute villas have been removed to make way for terrace housing developments.

Population Profile


Aged Under 15 Years 3.49%
Aged Over 65 Years 2.68%
European 35.78%
Maori 4.41%
Pacific Peoples 2.40%
Asian 36.33%