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Mt Roskill and Hillsborough the next fringe suburbs

Mt Roskill and nearby Hillsborough are attracting a lot of overflow attention.

1 April 2021

If you’ve been trying to buy in well-located suburbs like Sandringham, Onehunga, Three Kings and Royal Oak, your frustration at missing out on a home you can afford may be sending you a little bit further afield to the neighbouring suburbs of Mt Roskill and Hillsborough.

What's it like to live in Onehunga?

According to agents doing business in Mt Roskill, the suburb is well positioned to step into the spotlight. One of Auckland’s larger suburbs, it’s already seeing a lot of development activity, thanks to the Auckland Unitary Plan. Mt Roskill has very good transport links due to its location on either side of the Southwestern motorway and bus routes on major arterial roads like Dominion Road and Sandringham Road Extension. And this diverse part of Auckland still has a lot of green areas including two golf courses, and Keith Hay Park, to name a few.

All this adds up to Mt Roskill being a good place to live. Director Of UP Real Estate, Barry Thom, says: “All the suburbs that are affordable and within striking distance of the CBD are now going to get picked over very, very hard, and Mt Roskill definitely fits into that category.”

“As values climb, you’ve got this radius of convenience, the combination of affordability and proximity to where people work in the CBD,” he says.

UP agent, Paul Raynes, who’s been working in the Mt Roskill market for 28 years, says

if you’re looking at the suburbs within an 8 km radius from the city, which places like Ellerslie, Royal Oak, Three Kings to Point Chevalier fall into, Mt Roskill can be included in this category.

And Mt Roskill, just beyond Sandringham and Mt Eden, has a very similar style of housing, from character bungalows to state houses, says Paul. Historically, the pricing has been a lot less mainly because the schooling has not been as popular.

Some families have preferred Mt Albert Grammar and Auckland Grammar, for instance, but Mt Roskill Grammar has a very good reputation and is known as one of the most diverse schools in Auckland with over 70 nationalities. The suburb has a number of high standard primary school too, including Mt Roskill Primary and Dominion Road Primary School, led by former Pt Chevalier Primary deputy principal, Lesley Mitchell, says the UP agent.

As with any suburb, some streets are better than others. It’s up to you to do your due diligence on this. Paul, currently selling a home on Foch Avenue in Mt Roskill, recently sold a 1990s townhouse on nearby Hazel Avenue with four bedrooms and no garaging for $1.93 million. At the end of Foch and Hazel Streets is a lovely park where the tennis courts have been redone, he says.

Sections in Mt Roskill tend to be larger than in Sandringham, adds Paul. And he finds it’s normally a good Mt Roskill house that draws buyers to the area. It may be a character home or a big modern property, but it’s not difficult to convince buyers that Mt Roskill is an area to consider.

For foodies, Mt Roskill is a well known food hub, the former home of Foodstuffs North Island, it has a New World and a Countdown supermarket as well as the twice weekly Wesley Market, which incorporates the Mt Roskill Farmers’ and Treasure market on Sandringham Road, Auckland’s largest mid-week market.

Making your buying go further

Former Mt Roskill resident, and Barfoot & Thompson agent, William MacLean, is marketing an attractive 1960s home in Mt Roskill’s Tropicana Drive. He knows how good a suburb it is for bringing up kids, he says.

8 Tropicana Drive, Mount Roskill, Auckland

“It’s right on the motorway, off peak it’s 10-12 minutes to the city and it’s not far from Three Kings,” says William.

Tropicana Drive feels like Lynfield, he adds. “There’s a huge variety of homes in Mt Roskill and they’re slightly more affordable than central suburbs.”

William isn’t surprised more people are looking at Mt Roskill. “Why wouldn’t you? That’s what we’re finding, it’s going to make your buying go further, “ he explains.

Ray White agent, Frazer Mackenzie-Johnson says if you look at Royal Oak, Three Kings, Mt Roskill and Hillsborough, soon there will be very little delineation between them. “These areas are all coalescing at the moment,” he says.

A classic brick and tile elevated home in Mt Roskill he sold recently, attracted a huge amount of interest, says Frazer, selling for $990,000, and all but two of the bidders were first home buyers. Currently selling a home on Freeland Avenue, he’s trying to capitalise on all the development going on around there.

“There’s a lot of things being slated, the density is going up and up and they’re high quality homes,” he says.

“The prices haven’t gone crazy yet,” says development specialist at Harcourts, Aman Gulia.

currently selling a THAB (Terrace Housing and Apartment Building) zoned property on Denny Avenue near the motorway and War Memorial Park.

The more affordable prices may not last, due to Mt Roskill’s access to the motorway, which runs through the middle of the suburb. It’s closer than Mt Eden or Epsom, says Aman.

Fellow Harcourts agent Sarah Wiliams, selling a character home at the moment on Mt Albert Road in Mt Roskill near Three Kings, says the new development to come to Mt Roskill will be a turnaround for the suburb.

414 Mount Albert Road, Mount Roskill

“The commutability of Mt Roskill, that’s the key thing, everyone is looking to ditch the car,” she says.

First home buyers like the prices in Mt Roskill

Barfoot & Thompson agent Alex Wu says he’s seeing lots of first home buyers in Mt Roskill. There were close to 100 buyers looking at a three bedroom, one bathroom home he’s selling in Haycock Avenue, he says.

50 Haycock Avenue, Mount Roskill

Alex is expecting the new CVs coming in this year to show a 20-30 % increase on last year in Mt Roskill. He thinks there will be some investors on hold after new policies from the Government looking to dampen investor activity, but families looking for homes to occupy will replace them quickly.

Mt Roskill is appealing to first home buyers because it’s such a massive suburb, and there are always properties coming on, says Ray White’s Rachel Berry.

She stresses there are two sides to Mt Roskill, the more expensive part on the Three Kings, city side and the more affordable part on the other side of the motorway.

For many, Mt Roskill will be a stepping stone suburb, she says. And predicts in the $1 million to $1.8 million price range there will be a lot of crossover in terms of what you can buy in Onehunga, Sandringham, Mt Albert and Mt Roskill to Hillsborough.

A new development coming up in Mt Roskill

Expect a lot of new development to emerge in Mt Roskill in the coming years on both sides of the motorway. And a lot of new homes being planned are already a step up from what Mt Roskill has offered up until now.

Bayleys Remuera is marketing a new boutique townhouse development at 1354 - 1360 Dominion Road, known as Oakshire. Due for completion at the end of 2021, the homes are just a few minutes walk from Mt Roskill Grammar, New World and Winstone Park. Each of the 14 townhouses have three bedrooms and most have three ensuite bathrooms plus separate studies, so they work well for family living or for sharing with flatmates, say agents Sarah Liu and Diane Burt.

Prices range from $1 million to $1.4 million depending on the floor areas which go from 188 sq m to 200 sq m. Six homes are under contract with a further eight to go. They’re attracting families, professionals and investors, says Sarah.

Hillsborough actually the centre of Auckland

And if Mt Roskill is a bit too urban or suburban for your taste, neighbouring Hillsborough, a suburb with many bush sections and views to the Manukau Harbour, is another idea for first home buyers or expanding families. And it’s just one motorway ramp away from Mt Roskill.

Hillsborough has been given a huge boost with the motorway connection to town, to the North Shore or to nearby suburbs like Onehunga, Sandringham, says Bayleys’ Diane Burt.

For those living in the hilly suburb, the Waterview tunnel has made such a difference, says Diane, currently selling a large home in one of Hillsborough’s popular roads, Goodall Street.

20 Goodall Street, Hillsborough, Auckland

A local, and a former teacher at the highly rated Hillsborough Primary School, Diane says the Waterview tunnel has given her access not only to the city centre but to go further north, up to Albany for instance.

Hillsborough is an obvious suburb to benefit from being more affordable and it’s still very central, she believes.

“If you look at the CBD as the middle of the pond and look at the ripples going out, we are a ripple beyond but still in the Auckland isthmus,” says Diane.

Hillsborough is a bit of a well kept secret, with lots of long driveways and home nestled in the bush. They’re ideal homes in which you can live and work, she says.

Some Hillsborough homes will go for as much as $2 million and for as low as $900,000, she says.

Former Hillsborough resident, Ray White agent Martin Honey, says people have always come to Mt Roskill and Hillsborough because they were priced out of other areas, but there’s just more people looking in the current market. He’s getting good interest in a well- presented five bedroom Oakdale Road property in Hillsborough at the moment.

75A Oakdale Road, Hillsborough, Auckland

“It’s a really nice family area,” says Martin, whose children played soccer at Keith Hay Park. He rates the Akarana golf club and the suburb’s handiness to the airport. It’s also close to beaches in Onehunga Bay and there’s good dog walking on the Waikōwhai Walkway which goes through the suburb, he says.