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Ten places where you should buy in 2021

Ten places where you should buy in 2021

Colliers’ pick of the top growth areas for the medium- to long-term

Each year Colliers’ Residential Projects give their prediction of the best areas for buying property in the year ahead.

Pete Evans, National Director of Residential Projects, says the areas have been selected based on changes or improvements either underway or in planning stages.

Evans says the changes will improve the areas making them more desirable for residents, leading to greater capital growth in the medium- to long-term for owner-occupiers and investors alike.

“Covid has not only fuelled the demand for residential homes but has changed what the market wants. For example, more buyers will demand work from home spaces, and a new home can enable people to achieve the outcomes they want. We believe lifestyle suburbs will be in higher demand throughout 2021 and beyond.”

“While nine out of ten of the top picks are in Auckland, as the ‘engine room’ of NZ’s economy and a region less affected by tourism, Tauranga city is also one to watch.

“Local travel will remain strong and Tauranga’s robust economy and lifestyle offered, means it ticks a lot of boxes for residents and ensures future growth.

“The Government is now trying to dampen a strong residential market and are targeting investors to try and cool the market. We predict that demand from first home buyers and people looking to upgrade will continue to grow with these buyers attracted to historically low interest rates.

“The focus in 2021 will remain on the supply of new homes by regeneration of traditionally less expensive suburbs that are close to amenity. Or, through creation of new ‘green field’ suburbs in the outer suburbs with their own local amenity.”

Evans says that Auckland’s infrastructure improvements particularly in the north and south corridors have strongly influenced his pick of the suburbs to watch in 2021 and beyond.


Manukau has made the list several times due to significant investment in the area being led by Panuku Development.

Encompassing over 600ha of land in Central Manukau and Wiri, Panuku’s development plan is set to transform the area into a more vibrant, connected and liveable part of Auckland.

Evans says that changes in Manukau are already well underway with a new integrated rail and bus station, the opening of Manukau Institute of Technology’s new trade learning centre and the upgrade of Putney Way to serve as the main street, to name a few. 

“Downtown Manukau is also becoming a residential hub with 200 new homes completed and a further 200 to be delivered in the short term.

“Manukau will be a fantastic place to live in the coming years, and with demand comes higher prices.”


Papatoetoe is undergoing infrastructure improvements with the initial focus on a 2.5ha block of Auckland Council land. According to the Council, plans include revitalising the shopping mall with a refurbished and enlarged supermarket, while retaining the Puriri, Pohutukawa and Titoki trees that are such a central feature of the town centre.

Transport and infrastructure development include Papatoetoe Train Station and Puhinui Transport Interchange that are set to open in 2021 providing a 10-minute rail link to Auckland International airport.

Evans says that easy access to the M1, M20 and M21 motorways means Papatoetoe is already well connected to the rest of Auckland.

“With recent new housing offering incredible value for money at prices well below comparative locations, Papatoetoe is an ideal location for first home buyers, investors and the down sizer market.”

Mt Roskill

The regeneration of Mt Roskill South is well underway with thousands of new homes under construction and around 10,000 new homes to be completed over the next 10 years.

The government led project includes new and improved amenity and infrastructure as well as housing supply.

According to Evans, with private vehicles remaining the primary form of transport for Aucklanders in the foreseeable future, Mt Roskill is in a superb location.

“Mt Roskill is a diverse and vibrant area that will continue to grow as more high-quality, affordable homes are built in the area.

“While the transformation of Mount Roskill will be over a long period of time, government expenditure and investment by developer and builder partners will continue to drive growth in the area.

“Mount Roskill is definitely a suburb to watch for those looking for affordability and gain, while retaining the character of an established suburb and central location.”


Onehunga has also been on Colliers’ radar for several years, with its growth trajectory only set to go exponential.

According to Evans the suburb is perfectly located in the centre of Auckland’s isthmus with excellent connectivity in all directions, a rail station, its own waterfront, and a unique community vibe.

Regeneration is being led by Panuku Development with $140 million dedicated to the project, which will facilitate new homes, improved transport and continued development of the town centre and wharf.

Private sector development has followed suit with new developments coming to completion or in planning stages.

New developments include 160 new apartments at Fabric of Onehunga, 88 apartments under construction at Beachcroft and over 100 new apartments planned on the Onehunga Workingmen’s Club site.

Evans says that Onehunga will become one of the most exciting Auckland villages.

“New retail, cafes and bars are popping up on Onehunga Mall and rejuvenating the area.”

New Lynn

An already lively hub of west Auckland, New Lynn will continue to benefit from growth, says Evans.

“According to Council the goal for New Lynn is to create a unique and sustainable urban centre to attract and maintain 20,000 residents and 14,000 workers by 2030.

“Major investments include upgrade of Merchant Quarter into a pedestrian-friendly precinct with improved retail and shared spaces for residents, workers and visitors.

“There is also an emphasis on cycling and Clark Street has been upgraded with cycle-safety measures that were the first of their kind in NZ.

“New residential developments within proximity to the transit centre, Brickworks and Old Town will provide new and improving housing for this strategic regional heart of the west.”


Albany continues to be one of the fastest growing suburbs in Auckland with the Auckland 2050 plan identifying the area as a focal point for living, employment and commercial activity on the North Shore.

The suburb already benefits from excellent public transport links via the Northern Busway and it’s Park’n’Ride facility, alongside a well-established retail offering, anchored by Westfield Albany, sporting venues and education facilities.

Evans says Albany is a fantastic place to invest.

“It’s well-located with fantastic local amenity, proximity to employment and education areas, with excellent connectivity to the CBD.

“New housing stock will mean that Albany will always attract strong interest from tenants.”

Long Bay

Evans says that Covid-19 has forever changed how and where people work.

“With thousands of Aucklanders now working from home and businesses reducing office space, the residential market is adapting with home offices for one or two people becoming a requirement.

“Lifestyle suburbs that once meant unattractive commutes now offer a viable and appealing option that will continue to grow over the medium- to long-term.

“Long Bay’s blend of stunning coastal landscapes and urban design creates an enviable lifestyle. Every aspect of the suburb’s development has been considered including a significant number of reserves and parks to provide high-quality community areas.

“The road layout has been well-designed to deliver view corridors to the sea and islands of the Hauraki Gulf. 

“While most of the dwellings tended to be large and at the expensive end of the market, new offerings of terrace homes and apartments are increasing the number of affordable options and creating a more diverse and exciting community.

“At the heart of Long Bay is the central village that provides local retail, cafes and bars, and with more mixed-use offerings planned in the short term, the village will continue to grow.

“With its outstanding natural environment, a variety of new homes, Long Bay is a very attractive lifestyle option,” says Evans.


Nestled between Orewa and the Silverdale shopping centres, the rapidly growing Hibiscus Coast suburb of Millwater has north-facing slopes and tranquil valleys, with views to bush and sea.

Evans says that the increased focus on working from home after Covid-19, has meant this area is now more desirable for a larger sector of the market.

“It's close to a wide range of recreational opportunities, a selection of top-quality educational facilities and, most importantly, it offers quick motorway access south, via private or public transport, to the employment hubs of the North Shore and Auckland CBD.

“A more diverse mix of new homes in the area including stand-alone, terraces and apartments is attracting more first home buyers, young and older families, professionals and retirees.


At just 45 minutes from Auckland CBD, Warkworth is the gateway and major commercial centre servicing the communities of Matakana and Tawharanui.

Evans says that with the population in the area expected to jump by 20,000 over the next 30 years, the completion of the SH1 northern extension from Puhoi to Warkworth and the Matakana Link in May 2022 will come at an important time for development of the area.

“Improved transport will make Warkworth a commutable suburb from Auckland.

“Greenfields development is already occurring on the southern approaches with significant new developments planned on the northern boundary adjacent to the Matakana Link road.

“Covid has shown us how the market can work from home and has become the preferred option for many workers.

“A lifestyle suburb like Warkworth will not only be popular with retirees, but a new generation of young families who are looking for a more relaxed lifestyle and are able to work one, two or even full time from home.”


Tauranga is one of the fastest growing residential locations with demand for residential land surpassing supply, according to Colliers’ Tauranga based agent Grant White

White says that Tauranga City is undergoing a transformation that’s being driven by population growth coming from Auckland and expats returning from overseas – a market that expects a vibrant city centre with good amenity.

“Tauranga has a strong economy with a diverse range of businesses to withstand the effects of Covid. 

“Earthquake strengthening and demolition of older structures, that are no longer fit for use, are leading this transformation, especially in lower Devonport Road and the waterfront Strand areas.

“The CBD is in regeneration mode with the Farmers site on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Devonport Road, underway. This $200 million development will comprise of retail, car parking and 120 high end apartments and terraces homes.

“Farmers is just one of $320m worth of projects that are underway in the CBD, which are to be completed in the next 5 years.

Evans believes Tauranga city centre will continue to be transformed, providing a highly sought-after city and lifestyle offering.

Related Experts

Pete Evans

National Director


Pete specialises in residential property development and project marketing. Pete is focused on leading the growth and development of the national residential business line through providing diverse and integrated residential property services, enhancing project design and mix to identified target markets, client engagement strategies, branding and positioning, project sales specialist to sell-out projects, fostering and maintaining service excellence. 

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Grant White

Commercial Sales


I started working in commercial real estate in 1992 after 20 plus years working in the travel industry. With my experience, I have established myself in motel broking and business/property sales around the Bay of Plenty and Waikato region. This involvement has covered leases, freehold going concerns, freehold investments, setting up new motels, design and build programs. Within nineteen years, I have achieved sales in excess of $100 million. I am also a member of the NZ Institute of Travel and hold a  Level 3 Travel Management Qualification. MNZIT Level 1,2,3

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