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The economic impacts of minimum apartment and balcony rules

MRCagney Ltd
Auckland Council
Publication date:  

Extract from the introduction:

Auckland Council (AC) commissioned MRCagney to research the economic impacts of proposed Unitary Plan rules on minimum apartment and balcony areas.

Rules on minimum apartment/balcony areas are detailed in AC’s proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP). These rules stipulate that apartments shall have internal floor areas and balconies that are not less than certain thresholds. The minimum floor area for studio apartments, for example, varies from 30–40sqm depending on the zone, whereas the minimum balcony area varies from 8-10sqm.

From our discussions with AC, we understand that the purpose of these rules is to improve residential amenity and well-being. On the other hand, AC is concerned that the rules on minimum floor and balcony areas will make it more difficult for apartments to be developed.

This in turn will have two negative economic impacts:

First, people who would have chosen to live in small apartments will be negatively affected by of the reduced availability of this housing type. Second, the reduction in the availability of housing will in turn increase demand for other types of housing, causing prices to rise across the board.

In this context, there is a need to investigate the nature and relative size of the economic impacts of rules on minimum apartment and balcony rules to ensure the PAUP has found an appropriate balance. ...

MRCagney, Auckland Council, January 2014