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Provincial urbanisation gathers pace – as new residential subdivision sells out ahead of schedule

Tags: Residential

Overwhelming demand for sections at a new master-planned residential community in the North Canterbury township of Amberley has led its developers to bring forward the next stage of sites for sale by almost three months.


The new development, known as The Clearing, consists of what will eventually be a 360-home neighbourhood of variously sized sections being sold in multiple consecutive stages. The Clearing is located 500 metres from Amberley’s existing town centre.

Stage one of The Clearing was released onto the market on November 5, with offers closing on November 18. Since then, all 28 sections have purchase contracts on them. Sections sizes ranged in size from 400-square metres to 1,238-square metres, with base prices starting at $190,000.

Now stage two of The Clearing – comprising a parcel of 47 individual sections has been brought to the market. Sections within The Clearing are being marketed for sale through Bayleys Canterbury.

Bayleys Canterbury salesperson Chris Jones said the unprecedented demand for sections in The Clearing neighbourhood – and the consequential high number of advance sales – meant the second sell-down phase of The Clearing was now being brought forward by almost three months to quench the red-hot market demand for sections.

“The pace at which sections within The Clearing’s first stage sold down has been overwhelming. While we knew demand would be strong and thought the process would roll into early next year. No-one envisaged the degree of buyer enquiry which we’ve experienced,” said Jones.

“Interest in sections came from across the population spectrum - with strong interest from locals wanting to move but stay within Amberley’s existing township, from builders looking at sites to develop, and from long-term land-banker investors.

“It’s highly encouraging to be commencing not only the first stage of a project on the due commencement date, but also to be able to dovetail the next stage of civil works simultaneously.

“The attraction of buying into a brand new subdivision in which to build a new home, bring up the kids, live and work from home remotely, or retire in, has certainly appealed to a wide buyer demographic.

“Recreational amenities such as Amberley Golf Club, Amberley Tennis Club, Amberley Rugby Club, Amberley Bowling Club, Amberley Cricket Club, Amberley Pony Club and Amberley Netball Club are all within minutes’ drive from The Clearing,” Jones said.

The Clearing is being developed by UWC Ltd – owned by prominent Wellington developer Ian Cassels. His aspiration to invest into the public realm and amenity is reflected by the master-planning and engineering to provide a shared connected environment, with community access to public open spaces, highly planted wetlands and a full community playground proposed for stage four of the development.

Jones added that with the initial The Clearing sell-down precedent firmly established, the developer was now confident that the second instalment would sell out in a relatively short timeframe too – potentially as soon as the end of January.

At this stage, the final tranche of 48 sections in The Clearing stage three will only be released to the market on the completion of stage two being sold out. Jones said design and build covenants are in place for all section sales to ensure land values within the development are underpinned for all owners and that a high quality of residence and urban design is built.

Landscaping earthworks and infrastructure groundworks at The Clearing are due to begin next year, with section titles expected to be issued in early 2023.

“Residential construction in provincial Canterbury has been evolving since the 2011 earthquake – with substantial subdivisions opening up in the likes of West Melton, Rolleston, Lincoln, Rangiora, Pegasus, and now Amberley. Opening up The Clearing will go some way to helping deliver accommodation solutions to satisfy the on-going demand from both home and section buyers in the region.”

Amberley is located some 40 minutes’ drive north of Christchurch, near the Waipara wine growing region. Latest sales data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand shows that in October this year, the median sales price for a property in the Hurunui catchment was up 1.2 percent from the same month in 2020 – rising from $415,000 to $420,000 over the 12 months.

“The REINZ data shows robust and ongoing demand for housing in the region. These figures certainly bode well for the future, and for those buying into the location,” Jones said.

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