As a result of a recent Productivity Commission’s inquiry into home affordability, the New Zealand Government is currently working on ways to reduce house prices. Auckland is seen as the worst affected city in New Zealand. Currently Auckland is ranked as one of the World’s most expensive cities to live, with house prices around six times the average wage of the people living there.
This discussion is not new. Over the last 10 years New Zealand has been part of a property boom that has seen house prices increase all over the Country. In fact when incomes are considered, many of New Zealand’s centres have become expensive to live.
Reasons for the soaring cost of housing in New Zealand is varied. In Auckland is it primarily a case of supply and demand. To keep up with population growth, Auckland needs 14,000 new homes to be built each year. Currently, only about 7,000 new homes are making it to market, and therefore demand is not being met. This market anomaly drives up the price of housing.
The Commission’s report identified one of the problems as being a significant lack of land available for building new homes in Auckland. This is mainly due to Council promoting high density housing, rather than opening new parcels of land for development. This has resulted in more Auckland city suburbs reaching the million dollar mark. Other Councils across the country are also holding back land development to reduce the cost of infrastructure for services such as wastewater treatment.
The government plans to speed up the consent process for new homes, making it easier and cheaper; through changes to the Resource Management and Local Government Acts. This will take time however, and even the government is taking a cautious, go slow, approach so as not to affect house prices too quickly. The reason for this is that most New Zealanders have their house as a retirement investment. So change won’t be happening any time soon.
In the mean time, what many people are unaware of is that for half the price of an average house in an outlying Auckland suburb you can buy a house and land package in a coastal centre such as Gisborne. With house and land packages, developers have usually chosen stunning locations in new subdivisions. Not only do you get to choose your section, but you get a selection of house plans to choose from, all within your budget. Imagine living in one of sunniest parts of the Country, and having enough money left over to enjoy life.
The Gisborne District Council website outlines business opportunities in the region, and with nearly 3,000 existing businesses there are plenty of employment opportunities also. Envisage a new home, with a decent size section, and a low stress lifestyle. Moving out of the city is not only a great idea for you, but your family will benefit from moving away from the stresses of city life, especially the relentless traffic.
So if you are one of the unlucky people finding it difficult to find a decent property for your dollar, think about a house and land package in another centre to get more value for your money. With mortgage rates at an historic low, now is a great time to build.
Location, location, location. The old real-estate saying fits really well with mountain biking. To really make sure your adventure is enjoyable to its fullest; you need to make sure you pick the right location matching your scenic expectations as well as your abilities. Here is what to consider choosing your next mountain biking location.
1. Austinmer, NSW. A trail suitable for weekend warriors, it boasts a 95% single track and 5% dual track, with long climbing activity of an elevation gain of 91 meters. Parking area provided by the Sydney Water Gates, it starts off with a downhill ride of 100m. Don’t let the downhill ride put you much at ease, for a challenging climb awaits to burn your calves and increase cardiovascular activity. The terrain is very flat with some fallen tree ramps.
2. Five miles out of Ballarat is Black Hill a location that offers many trails that you can choose from. Dirt lovers will absolutely love these trails which is 100% pure dirt. It has rolling terrain that you can ride for under an hour which is most suitable for weekend warriors to have a chance to stop and enjoy the scenery and wild life.
3. There is always something for everyone who loves mountain biking in Australia and Horizon Drive Dirt Jumps is one of them. Located in Westlake, Brisbane, this loop track has an elevation gain of 3 meters and can be steep at certain points. The trail exhibit’s some amazing jumps and downhill riders will also enjoy the spectacular downhill track.
4. Hidden Secrets trail is not for the faint hearted as advanced skills are required to complete this activity. Located in Tamworth, NSW it is an out and back king of the track with very steep and technical terrain with an elevation gain of 14m. An absolute haven for advanced riders, the area is jam-packed with 4 footer jumps at 4m intervals.
5. Willing Hill is a 100% single track trail with an elevation gain of 274 meters. A steep and technical terrain awaits mountain bike weekend warriors. A downhillers adrenalin fantasy, Willing Hill is open and windy and the trail showcases long and fast descents, monster drops and the biggest of jumps. Located in Willing off Lauds Hill Road.
6. Studley Park Downhill Track is located in Northcote, VIC off Heidelberg Road. Ideal for mountain biking beginners, it is 0.97KM with a 90% single track and 100% dual track availability. Its rolling terrain is a perfect training ground for tricks and amateur downhillers.
7. Takura Towers in Hervey Bay, QLD has a diverse choice of tracks that any mountain biker can choose from. It is 75% single track and 25% fire/gravel road with a distance of 16.09km. The main track is steep at certain parts but there is always that easy going section for beginners. Adrenalin junkies can get some big air on awesome jumps and get that rush on downhill paths.
8. Wombat State Forest, Gisborne, VIC. A track for that someone who wants to do it all! With 100% dual track and an elevation gain of 213m. Jumps, downhill, dirt fire you name it, this track has it. About an hours drive from Melbourne, it is the best weekend adventure to share with mountain biking friends of all riding levels.
9. Munda Biddi Trail, Perth, WA. Currently with a distance of 320.19km, this track is expected to go as far as 900km cutting through National Parks and some isolated towns. Considered to be the longest off-road trail in WA, it sports rolling terrain and cycle friendly campsites.
10. Old Bathurst in Blaxland, NSW is composed of 90% single track and completed by 50% dual track. A steep and technical terrain that has an elevation gain of 183m. Get a kick out of 5 different trails to choose from.
Michael Whitlam is an experienced writer that is also a massive fan of mountain biking. He has enjoyed the sport from the moment he learned to mountain biking through to his many mountain biking adventures across Australia. Michael Whitlam thinks everyone can participate in mountain biking and hopes that more people participate in the sport. If you are interested in mountain biking you should find out more today and before you know it you’ll be enjoying your very own mountain biking adventure.