22 April 2015

As house prices rise and trendy eateries emerge, Parnell looks set to return to its former glory with other city fringe property hotspots close on its tail.

Bayleys residential sales agent Gary Wallace said that as one of Auckland's oldest suburbs – and home to the Prime Minister – Parnell has always been a desirable place to live.

The median house price for a place in Parnell had increased 90 per cent to $1.12 million during the past seven years – an annual average increase of 7.7 per cent, according to Bayleys' figures.

House prices were 31 per cent higher in the year to February than during the pervious corresponding period.

A spate of vibrant bars and restaurants have popped into the limelight in the suburb during the past couple of years, including 46 & York, Woodpecker Hill, the refreshed Rosies on Gladstone Road, Italia Square, French patisseries Vaniye and La Cigale's newly-installed fortnightly Truck Stop evening.

Wallace said new hospitality establishments had a bearing on the suburb's desirability as a place to live.


During the past few years, young people raised in Parnell and Remuera left for more "bohemian" suburbs like Ponsonby and Grey Lynn.

"Parnell and Remuera were a little bit forgotten."

Wallace said that was changing with young families returning to rent and buying in the area.

But it's not cheap – a family starting out can secure a Parnell villa for the cool price of $1m.

You get what you pay for, Wallace said.

"It is a great example of a mixed density and mixed-use suburb with a combination of residential houses, townhouses and apartments sitting alongside a good supply of office and retail property.

"It's also situated between the CBD, the Newmarket shopping precinct and the picturesque beaches of the Eastern Suburbs."

Owners of 46 & York JP Schmidt and Dana Johnston said there had been a lull in Parnell since about 2002, and while the vibe was changing it would take at least a further three or four quality establishments to get the buzz back.

Johnston said the majority of the bar's clientele were over 30 and living in the area.

Young professionals renting and working in the area also made up a chunk of their patrons, he said.

Redevelopments like the $100m office block planned for St Georges Bay Road would add to the pull of the suburb and provide more regular patrons to bars like Schmidt's and Johnston's.

Private property developer Mansons TCLM's 12,000 square metre office will have four levels, 240 carparks and will be 5 green star with a central garden plaza.

This is noted to be the first in a series of buildings Mansons will construct in the area, currently full of existing warehouses.

Johnston and Schmidt also have a wine and cocktail bar planned for opening later this year.

Schmidt said locals were excited about the growing vibrancy of the area and were looking forward to continued resurgence.


Parnell is not the only suburb on the rise, with newcomers like Onehunga, Mangere Bridge and Beach Haven getting in on the action.

Trade Me head of property Nigel Jeffries said investment in infrastructure through public and private development drew people to the suburbs, which pushed up property prices.

Residential property prices were also pushed upwards when certain subsets of a demographic frequent a suburb because of amenities like new restaurants and bars, Jeffries said.

New developments near Wynyard Quarter and Victoria Park in Auckland's CBD were expected to affect property prices in the area, he said.

Previously unfashionable suburbs like Mangere Bridge were becoming more desirable as house prices and housing demand city-wide both rise, while amenities and infrastructure are also improved.

While house prices in Parnell were somewhat affected by the suburb's trendiness, as a mature suburb it was not experiencing the same rate of growth as its up-and-coming counterparts.

The likes of Parnell and Herne Bay had median house prices of more than $1m but they had largely already experienced their price growth, Jeffries said.

Meanwhile, other fringe suburbs continued to race ahead.

New Zealand Mortgages & Securities director James Kellow said there was a lack of developable land in central Auckland.

Parnell was one of the few areas with remaining room for development.

However, west and south Auckland had potential for further residential and commercial development.

Suburbs further from the city became more desirable to businesses and homeowners as infrastructure, including public transport improved, Kellow said.


Trade Me's Jeffries said he had eight top picks for up-and-coming Auckland suburbs based on location, infrastructure and property trends:

Takapuna – Median house price of $1.42m, up 31 per cent year-on-year

Mangere Bridge - $748,000, up 16.5 per cent

The Mangere Bridge boat ramp. Photo: Tao Lin. 

Henderson - $567,000, up 14.3 per cent

Beach Haven - $649,000, up 12.3 per cent

Onehunga – $711,000, up 10.7 per cent

Blockhouse Bay - $757,000, up 5.8 per cent

Long Bay - $1.2m, up 0.2 per cent

Ellerslie - $682,000, down 1.5 per cent

 - Stuff