First published in Star News, written by Chris Barclay.
Visiting his partner’s grandmother in Highbury, North London, provided the foundation for Vincent Holloway’s grand design to ensure Christchurch again reflects its English origins.
The qualified builder, real estate agent and now property developer is at the forefront of a move to construct UK-style architecture of yesteryear in established locations like, appropriately, Coronation St in Spreydon.
Hendon St, Edgeware (Hendon is a municipality in the North West London borough of Barnet; Edgware Rd has a tube station) is another fitting address for Holloway and fellow Brooksfield director Oliver Hickman to construct their heritage-style homes.
“I just prefer this style,” Holloway explains inside a double-story, two-bedroom weatherboard show home hardly out of place on a quiet, tree-lined street off Hills Rd.
“We’d been building standard, modern plaster black-and-white homes that everyone’s doing.
“For the city as a whole, it doesn’t really add much. I just think you can do better on design.”
So 18 months ago, recalling a jaunt to the English capital, Holloway modified the business model, with input from London-based architect Ben Pentreath.
“I’ve been over there a couple of times. I saw the style in London and wanted to take it further.
“They’re a New Zealand (timber) version of a London townhouse, almost Georgian-style terrace housing,” said Holloway, as he leaned to open a sash window.
Brooksfield started three years ago with a modern outlook and now 80 per cent of the builds are heritage-inspired.
“I figured out we could do it for the same price (about $600,000 to $700,000) we were doing a plaster box-type black-and-white design,” said Holloway, who moved to Christchurch from Tauranga via a building apprenticeship in Wanaka.
“We’re really trying to push our heritage-style towards terraced rows of houses with street frontage for everyone. Where we can, we do that now.”
There are even aesthetically pleasing faux chimneys on the roofs of 10 Victorian-styled townhouses on Hastings St West in Sydenham.
Timber is the favoured exterior but English-style brickwork is also taking shape on Coronation St, in Waltham Park.
Brooksfield has completed about 50 heritage homes around the city, while several three and four-bedroom projects are in various stages of completion.
“We did a couple of developments, they were popular and there was a waiting list so we just did more and more of them,” Holloway said.
Location is key, with Christchurch’s equivalent of Mayfair and Park Lane-style addresses off the board, as the likes of Old Kent Rd and Whitechapel Rd are preferred.
“There’s a big market for people who want a townhouse but they can’t afford $2 million for a super nice one but they would buy a $5-6-700,000 townhouse,” Holloway said.
“We like areas that you’d probably call five-to-seven out of 10 areas. We’ve done quite a bit on Hills Rd but we prefer these quiet areas.
“We’ve got about 80 around Waltham Park in seven or eight different developments, we’ve got heaps around Selwyn St, Bletsoe Ave, Coronation St, Strickland St.”
Holloway said the homes had wide appeal, and the mature generation clearly appreciated the historical aspect.
“I think a lot of people in Christchurch miss old houses, we’ve lost so much of that, all those memories have gone,” Holloway said.
“Cantabrians also understand heritage buildings. I’m from Tauranga, we have one heritage building.
“On average, older people lean towards the heritage stuff, the younger are half and half (heritage v modern).”
Meanwhile, London is not the only city on the map at Brooksfield headquarters.
Anyone who has wandered the streets of Surry Hills will recognise the design of eight two-bedroom terraced Sydney heritage homes planned for Burke St in Addington.
Whether you are a first time landlord or a seasoned professional, as a property investor, you can reduce the amount of tax you pay by purchasing a Brooksfield home and remain exempt from the upcoming changes to interest deductibility and increased bright line duration.
There was a collective groan from landlords around the country in March when the Government announced property investors’ ability to offset interest costs against rental income would be coming to an end. The plan to systematically phase out interest deductibility on existing residential investment properties will take place between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2025, with a 25% reduction each income year on the amount of interest that can be claimed as an expense, resulting in a significant increase in tax bills for landlords with large mortgages.
In implementing these new measures the New Zealand Government aims to reduce investor pressure on prices by discouraging them from purchasing existing housing stock, theoretically making them more attainable for first home buyers and owner occupiers, for whom interest deductibility has never applied. Unfortunately many are predicting the adverse effect of rent increases as costs for landlords climb, creating further barriers to the market for those who do not currently own their own home.
The silver lining is the exemption of new builds from these upcoming tax changes. In an attempt to encourage the creation of new homes and reduce the housing shortage, the government has confirmed investors will still be able to claim back loan interest on new builds, causing them to quickly become the preferred option for first time landlords and those looking to increase their property portfolio alike. The ability to continue to deduct loan interest as an expense is no small bonus and can save even first time investors purchasing a modest property tens of thousands of dollars a year.
In addition, the bright line test on new builds is set to remain at 5 years rather than increasing to 10 years in line with existing homes, making a new build an appealing option for any buyer who could be looking to sell and make a profit. The ability to sell tax free in half the time is an undeniably attractive option. Even if you are an investor looking to buy and hold, the ability to be fluid as circumstances change or opportunities arise is always going to be beneficial. Given these benefits, it is no wonder the demand for new builds is predicted to skyrocket in the near future.
If purchasing a new build as a rental property was enticing before, with lower deposits, modern features and up to date compliance, these recent taxation changes are set to make them an even hotter commodity.
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