Real Estate Head: Future Auckland Needs High Speed Rail


The head of a large Auckland real estate company today called for an improved public transport network, including a high speed rail commuter link heading through Silverdale and as far as Warkworth to link up with the extensive new Northern Motorway bus network.

He says future population patterns means there would have to be substantial investment in a frequently-running high-speed rail infrastructure.

Mike Bayley of Bayley’s real estate says that developing an integrated public transport network across the greater Auckland region will be one of the key fundamentals to identifying areas with the biggest potential for residential property investment over the coming generation.

Mike Bayley says that while Auckland city had matured considerably over the past two decades – most notably with the evolution of the high density apartment market - the city’s wider reaches encompassing Counties, Manukau, Waitakere, North Shore and Rodney held the keys to future expansion for residential property.

Auckland, as it currently stands as a city, is certainly close to its dwelling capacity - with apartments offering some respite for those wanting to live in or near the CBD. Greater Auckland though - the region which will become the ‘super city’ - has enormous capacity to take on board several decades of growth in residential property investment and development,” he said.
“That’s because Auckland city has reached its boundary capacities. However, the pending implementation of the ‘super city’ will expand those boundaries considerably – to Rodney in the north and Franklin in the south.

“While there will effectively be a ‘ring fencing’ of the existing Auckland/Manukau/North Shore city conurbation by existing lifestyle blocks through the likes of Clevedon and Karaka in the south or Coatesville and Diary Flat in the north, these larger land and dwelling tracts are most likely to be leap-frogged, and we will then see the evolution of satellite townships based around existing settlements.

Mike Bayley: New satellite townships need big rail investment

“Looking at Auckland’s future well into the next generation, this is where the big growth in residential developments will come from. From this perspective, Auckland could easily be compared to what we currently see in London, Paris, or Tokyo – a highly populated central city with numerous smaller towns around its fringe separated by a green belt.”

With ever-shrinking land availability forcing smaller section sizes within the current Manukau/Waitakere/North Chore city boundaries, future Auckland super-city home-owners seeking ‘quarter-acre’ sites through to multi-hectare lifestyle blocks for young families would underpin demand for properties around the green belt fringes to both the north and the south.

However, Mike Bayley said that for the new satellite townships to prove attractive to potential incoming residents, there would have to be substantial investment in a frequently-running high-speed rail infrastructure.

“Refurbishment and expansion of the Western rail corridor out to Rodney would see the likes of Kumeu, Huapai and Hellensville all become true satellite townships feeding Auckland – where residents would drive to their local train station and commute into the central city to catch interconnecting rail or bus links,” he said.
“Similarly to the south, there is enormous potential in the townships of Papakura, Pukekohe, and Waiuku, for becoming feeder towns. People would live, shop and participate in the recreational facilities of their local town, while enjoying the employment potential which Auckland - as the country’s largest city - is always guaranteed to deliver.
“All of these fringe towns have enormous capacity for sizeable residential development - with vast property resources, and all at relatively cheap prices currently for astute investors looking very long term.”
Mike Bayley said that further north, a high speed rail commuter link heading through Silverdale and as far as Warkworth could link up with the extensive new Northern Motorway bus network. This rail link would underpin growth in the Albany Basin and assist in regenerating Takapuna as a retail and commercial centre.
To the East, the planned Flat Bush suburb was currently lying dormant - but with the capacity to absorb 40,000 people - stretching along to South Botany. Flat Bush alone could take 10 years to populate, Mr Bayley said.
On the other side of the city, suburbs such as Swanson, Ranui, and along the base of the Waitakere Ranges were still sparsely populated by comparison, and currently offered long-term investors the attraction of buying large tracts of land now which could be successfully land-banked for several decades, he added.
“Think back a generation – when Albany was an orchard, and Botany was a farm. Both of those suburbs now are highly developed in both residential and commercial activities. That’s the sort of comparative development that will be seen around Auckland’s outer fringes by 2040,” he said.
“Technological advances in communications will also be important in the growth of the satellite townships – allowing for greater deployment of ‘virtual offices’ where employees work on-line from home. This trend began to gather momentum in the mid-90s and is constantly evolving as new communication channels are introduced.”




  1. max says:

    Finally someone who doesn’t reflexively call for more motorways. Bravo.

  2. Jeremy Harris says:

    I like the sentiment even if I don’t agree with his predictions 100%…

  3. Matt L says:

    Agreed, it sounds good. Perhaps it could helped financed by a development levy. A fee of 5k per house wouldn’t add that much to the cost of a new home and if 20,000 new houses were added to the region that would provide about $100 mil in funding. Not enough for a new rail line but it would definitely help.


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