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Personalised homes, outdoor rooms and functionality key trends for homes

28 January 2016

Despite housing affordability issues being reported in some parts of New Zealand, many Kiwis are choosing to spend up on stylish features to reflect personal needs in their new homes, says national top 10 residential builder Generation Homes.

Purchasers are adding customised home variations worth tens of thousands of dollars and potentially much more to their long-term property value as they make specific product and design choices.

Three or four bedroom options are still popular particularly on smaller sections that are becoming more common in some parts of the country.

But no matter what size, home purchasers are putting their individuality to the fore. Kitchens and alfresco dining areas and outdoor rooms are where those specialist design elements can be best seen.

The outdoor room movement has broken down conventional barriers to create the illusion of a larger house and bring the outdoors in, says Generation Homes chief executive Kevin Atkinson.

First home buyers often know where their maximum price is. Though others with their foot well on the property ladder have more flexibility to move location or adjust home size to match their family and lifestyle changes. Some home buyers are spending another $40,000 to $50,000 on variations to add personal flair to their house, says Atkinson.

Depending on location and size, clients can pay between $400,000 and $1.3 million for their version of the Kiwi slice of paradise. Section sizes for the “high spec” homes can range from 170 to 400 square metres and much more depending on location.

The recent Reserve Bank decision to cut interest rates even further has brought buyers back into a market that is now more settled.  

“In most parts of New Zealand house prices are stabilising, but what we’re not seeing are price declines. There’s still that confidence in the market that people are buying knowing they’re not going to lose over the long term,” Atkinson says.

Prices in Auckland remain higher than the rest of the country. For example in Huapai to the west of the Queen City sections are $500,000 meaning general land and home packages are up towards $850,000 to $950,000 for a three-bedroom brick and tile house.

In Canterbury younger buyers are being attracted by $450,000 land and home packages, with some being helped in the decision to purchase their first property by KiwiSaver and other Government-led home loan packages.

Quality, functionality and open plan design with customised storage solutions for personal interests and hobbies have taken over from square footage in smaller builds. 

“People want to maximise available space and construct a smart, functional and efficient home for their family without over capitalising on their investment,” Atkinson says.

In terms of interior design trends, 2015 saw a movement toward the Scandinavian look of light wood and white tones teamed with primitive materials such as timber, stone, leather and fur – all of which recently emerged on TV3’s The Block NZ Villa Wars. Trends for 2016 include a move to black stainless steel, formal dining rooms and bathrooms that feel like living spaces.

This year will see a continuation of sophisticated pastel hues and relaxed neutral combinations dominating interiors, but there are plenty of colours on the horizon with unexpected blends of bright, bold colours and textured prints.

Generation Homes offers the safety of a fixed house price for more budget orientated customers.

Generation Homes was founded in Tauranga in 1997 by Kiwis Graham Hockly and David Mansel. The nationwide company has built nearly 4000 homes and is a highly reputable name in New Zealand residential construction.

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For more information, please contact:                                   Prepared by:

Kevin Atkinson                                                                           Alan Wood

Generation Homes, Chief Executive                                      Convergence Communications & Marketing

P: 0272 912 410                                                                            P: (03) 943 0583 | 027 225 0268

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Top image courtesy of John Kirk-Anderson