Photos: 20 Of Our Favourite Views

Whether it’s captivating cityscapes or breathtaking vistas, Open2view’s photographers get to work among the best views in New Zealand and Australia.

A great view can really make a property. It’s little wonder the owners of a Wellington apartment, whose sweeping harbour views were blocked by a four-metre-high wooden fence, took the matter to court. They won the battle and were awarded $72,500 this week.

With that in mind, we asked our talented team of photographers to show us some of the best views they’ve spotted from the decks, windows, gardens and skies of the properties they photograph.

Take a look at the stunning results in the gallery below.

Imagine having those views from your “office”? Well you could! Find out more about our franchise opportunities across New Zealand and Australia.

Where do you think the best views can be found in New Zealand and Australia? Let us know in the comments below or on our NZ and AU Facebook pages.


August Property Report: too many flyers, not enough houses

Coming home from the office last Thursday, I opened my letterbox to find this:

five flyers

That’s – count them – five real estate flyers arriving in my letterbox in just one day, from agents asking if I’d like them to sell my house. To which the answer is sure, as long as my landlord doesn’t find out.

All this fighting for my love is a telling indication of how heated property is here in Auckland. Exhibit B: my neighbour’s house was listed two weeks ago with an auction to be held in three weeks. It sold in just one.

So there’s some anecdotal evidence. I suppose you want some actual data too, right? Very well:


Some actual data

August set a few more records, according to our friends at

Auckland and Coromandel reached new asking price. Auckland, despite more listings, hit an all time low of just 11 weeks worth of inventory. Waikato and Bay of Plenty also have fewer houses available than ever.

If we compare the headline figures to last year, the national mean asking price is up 9% on August 2012, listings are up 3.4% and inventory is down 14%. In short, there ain’t enough houses coming on the market to keep choice, or price, at an acceptable level for buyers. Check out the full report here.

Meanwhile, QV just released their latest stats showing property prices have increased 8.5% in the last year. This is, again, largely driven by Auckland and Canterbury; most regions, while up on last year, are far behind. They expect house prices to increase “for some time yet.”


Some alternative views on Auckland

Some schools of thought argue that Auckland’s price growth is not as terrible as it seems.

Figures released last month by Barfoot & Thompson suggest the Auckland market has seen “solid, rather than spectacular gains.” A look at three bedroom properties by area, over the past decade, show price rises ranging from 58% (Franklin/rural Manukau) to 100% (West Auckland). Most of the increases came during the 2003-07 boom period.

QV, curiously, reckons the jump happened the other way round:

…over the past decade Auckland has increased 87 per cent compared to 88 per cent for all New Zealand. In fact, many other parts of the country increased in value much quicker than Auckland during the boom years of 2003-2007. After this time the rate of increase skyrocketed in Auckland compared to the most of the country, bar Christchurch.

They provide some other interesting stats also:

  • Auckland has nearly 418,000 houses, flats and apartments – 31.1% of the nationwide total.
  • With a 2012 population of 1.5 million, this equates to nearly 3.6 people per property.
  • From 2007-12 Auckland’s population grew by 111,500. There were only 25,850 building consents over that period. If we were to divide one by the other, that gives us 4.3 new Aucklanders per new property. Clearly, supply is an issue. Auckland needs to up its building consents game.


Some houses, but is it enough?

That was the topic of a recent article by Alistair Helm over at Properazzi. As he says, for the first time since November 2008 the number of consents in a 12 month period has exceeded 19,000.

Is this good? Well, the 1970s saw annual consent figures of over 35,000. Numbers at the turn of this century exceeded 30,000. So clearly we still have more catching up to do.

Interestingly, the nationwide average number of people per household is 2.67, slightly higher than before the Global Financial Crisis (where young people opted to bug their parents a wee while longer) but still lower than in Auckland alone.

It wasn’t just young folk who were slow to get moving during the GFC; construction plummeted during this period as Alistair’s chart shows:


The estimated shortfall over this period, according to Alistair, is 38,000 properties. Ouch.

The Auckland Council reckon they’re onto it though. The Housing Accord was approved yesterday, the legislation around it has already passed, and now they have a timetable drawn up for their first “special housing areas” – those parts where consents will be fast-tracked.

All going well, we’ll see SHAs containing at least 5000 new homes approved by Christmas. The end goal is 39,000 homes in three years. Can it be done? As says, it’ll be tough:

The moot point that will remain is who will undertake all the developments and can the 39,000 in three years target be achieved.

Auckland did achieve 12,000 new houses in a year briefly in the early 2000s, but the figure’s averaged closer to 4000 a year in recent years and the long running (20-year) average is only 7400 a year.

The other potential snag in ramping up development in Auckland is that the rebuilding of Christchurch means there will be huge competition for labour and resources.


Some of your thoughts

Are prices too high where you are? Are we too worried about Auckland? Got any stories you’d like to share? Ready to put up the “No Junk Mail” sign? Tell us all about it in the comments or over on Facebook.

Fundraising for CanTeen: Why this might be the most valuable house we’ve photographed

Here’s a fundraiser we can well and truly get behind.

018 - Open2view ID289686 - 25 Oakwood Way

Cambridge Homes has built a property at 25 Oakwood Way, Papamoa with all profits from the auction to be donated to CanTeen New Zealand.

For those unaware, CanTeen is a charity that provides support to young New Zealanders aged 13-24 who are living with cancer as a patient, sibling or bereaved sibling.

CanTeen runs a range of programmes including camps, art workshops and regional and national programmes which support, develop and empower their members  to positively deal with grief as well as communicate their thoughts and feelings. They also provide palliative and funeral grants to families of those with terminal cancer.

The support they provide is immeasurable. Their funds, on the other hand, are finite. CanTeen doesn’t receive any direct government funding, so they rely heavily on the support from the public as well as their own fundraising efforts.

005 - Open2view ID289686 - 25 Oakwood Way

Cambridge Homes decided to do something to help. And what better way to fundraise than by doing what they do best – build a house.

It’s a lovely house too. This three bedroom, two bathroom brick home is bright and roomy, close to Papamoa College and just a few blocks from the beach.

016 - Open2view ID289686 - 25 Oakwood Way

That painting on the wall? It was created by Cambridge Homes’ Brian Schlegel’s daughter and depicts “new life”. Having lost a friend to cancer several years ago, says Brian, his daughter was determined to do what she could to help. This beautiful art piece is to be auctioned on the same day as the house.

We here at Open2view were very happy to do what we could to assist. Our man on the ground there, Alex Porteous, shot all the real estate photos and video for free.

019 - Open2view ID289686 - 25 Oakwood Way

We are also doing our best to spread the word around and generate as much interest in the auction as possible. You can help too by sharing the below video, and this link to the property, with friends and family.

The auction will be held on site at 1pm this Friday, 3 May. Here’s to a great turnout – it could be the most valuable house you ever bought.