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Builds and Housing Prices: A Case Study of the Impacts of Special Housing Areas and Accords in Selwyn District

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In 2016, central government signed a Housing Accord with the Selwyn District Council establishing two Special Housing Areas (SHAs) near Rolleston – Faringdon South 1 (42 hectares) and a SHA made up of the Dryden Trust and Dean Geddes Blocks (72 hectares).

The Accord required that 10 percent of new dwellings built in the SHAs would be sold at no more than 75 percent of the median house price in Rolleston township. The Dryden Trust and Dean Geddes SHA was expected to deliver around 840 dwellings. Faringdon South 1 was expected to deliver in excess of 511 dwellings.

This study into the Rolleston SHAs presents descriptive statistics and hedonic pricing results. The data relate to Rolleston’s five Statistical Area 2 units with SHA and non-SHA areas. Data include and are presented on sale price, land area, floor area, number of bedrooms and bathrooms for each dwelling sold, characteristics of the lots, and building typology. Time dummies reflected known market conditions during the timeframe. Meshblock dummies were effective in controlling for variations in socioeconomic characteristics and access to amenities such as parks and schools.

Despite an intention to encourage rapid private developer delivery of new builds, after six years only 27 percent of expected dwellings were delivered. Similarly, while there was an expectation that the SHAs would provide lower costs and more affordability through delivery of multi-units, the 36 sales for multi-units all lay outside the SHA boundaries.

There was minor and limited price suppression in the SHA areas. Some dwellings were built at the 75 percent of median price, but the numbers were small and less than the expected numbers indicated in the Housing Accord. This is the first study to compare non-SHA and SHA builds under a Housing Accord for an entire settlement but the findings are consistent with previous research on the impacts of SHAs.

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