Sub-$900k homes in new subdivision

Woolshed Road co-developer Peter Cooney. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Woolshed Road co-developer Peter Cooney. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Amid an acute shortage of residential sections for sale, earthworks have begun for a 271-lot subdivision immediately north of Queenstown’s Hanley’s Farm.

In further good news, Peter Cooney, director of Classic Builders, which is developing Woolshed Road in conjunction with the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, hopes their land-and-house packages can go on the market for less than $900,000.

"We intend to be extremely cost-competitive," he says. "We like to think we’d be somewhere in the $800,000s, [it’s a] bit early to tell yet.

"As we know, Queenstown’s expensive. There’s a very strong demand for houses at a certain price range and it’s very hard to achieve that.

"We believe we’ve got the formula right and will be hitting a price point we think there’s a massive gap in the market for."

That formula, he suggests, relates to controlling the whole subdivision process, including design, build and property sales, in-house.

Cooney says they’ll probably release the first stage of about 50 homes mid-year, with construction starting late in the year. He predicts they’ll build out Woolshed Road, spread over 14 hectares, in about four years.

"It’s our intention to be building at pace and at scale, and trying to bring a bit of affordability back, and that can only be done at speed and pace."

He’s disappointed, however, it took Queenstown’s council two years to approve the subdivision.

Consent delays, he says, come with the risk prices will go through the roof.

"You’ve got affordability problems now, you’ve got rental problems, so many issues, but nothing’s going at pace. To slow things down like this just multiplies the problem."

Cooney’s hoping for a good mix of owner-occupiers and investors who’d put their homes into long-term rentals — homes would be mostly three-bedroom, two-bathroom on sections of about 400 square metres.

Asked whether he’d consider a covenant that’d ban Airbnb, which is contributing to the current rental housing crisis, he replies: "We haven’t made that decision yet, we’ll be thinking about that a bit closer to the time of release."

Cooney says Classic Builders has been building about 60 to 80 homes in Queenstown each year, including the 72-home Station View development at Jack’s Point.