400 home Putāruru development by Ultimate Global Group underway

Earthworks are underway for the first stage of a $200 million residential development of more than 400 homes in the South Waikato town of Putāruru by Ultimate Global Group and its construction arm Ultimate Builders.

The largest new residential development in South Waikato for 50 years will be officially opened today by newly elected South Waikato Mayor Gary Petley. The site was blessed by local iwi Raukawa before the earthworks began.

Mayor Petley says the development is a great boost for housing in the South Waikato. “It is exciting to be turning the sod on this massive housing project in Overdale Rd in Putāruru.

“Our district is growing significantly both in terms of population and business investment. This is just another example of how investors are recognising the strengths of the South Waikato with our central location, strong rail and road links, land availability and a business and investor friendly Council.”

South Waikato Head of Economic Development Paul Bowden said the Ultimate Global Group development was another example that post-Covid demand for work life balance, is driving growth in provincial New Zealand towns.

“Economic growth is driving demand for new housing in South Waikato and this will be a game-changer for housing supply in the district,” said Mr Bowden. “Also Hamilton, Tauranga and Rotorua are all commutable in under one hour and Auckland is just two hours away. This development will have ultrafast broadband which is as critical as road connections for remote working.”

Ultimate Global Group Chief Operating Officer Lloyd Cloughley says houses will be built with the Government’s new H1 standard due to be introduced next year in mind, for example, low-E double-glazed windows and increased R value insulation to walls and ceilings to ensure new houses are warm and dry.

“Here’s a great opportunity for an average Mum and Dad to buy a standalone house on a 600 square metre section for $700,000 to $800,000. In Putāruru we can bring a house to market for at least $300,000 less than Tauranga or Rotorua. Our entry level house is $715,000 – a similar house in Tauranga or the Lakes would be $1.1-1.4 million.

“Banks are stress testing clients’ ability to pay interest rates of eight or nine per cent. On a million dollar mortgage that is a whole lot of money. To get the same as one of our $750,000 brand new high spec standalone homes in Putāruru you would need to pay $1.7-1.8 million in Auckland. That requires a huge deposit and a mortgage most people cannot afford to pay. Tauranga is similar.

Mr Cloughley said the stage one of the Putāruru development will be 22 houses and seven have been pre-sold already to both families and investors, these investment properties will provide additional new warm housing as rental accommodation to meet the local demand. He said a showhome and the first two houses will be completed around March-April 2023.

“It’s a great opportunity for families to secure their home – with rising labour and material costs the price of building a house is never going to do down.”

Mr Cloughley said a tight labour market and employers’ realisation through the Covid pandemic that people can be just as productive at home has changed everything about where people can live.

“In a post-Covid environment and a time of signficant pressure to find employees, many employers are willing for employees to live anywhere as long as they are productive.

“Putāruru is perfect. The General Manager of Ultimate Builders has moved from Tauranga to Putāruru. His wife is a graphic designer who works from home.

“Think of Pokeno – eight or nine years ago the only reason you would stop there was if you needed petrol or bacon. When Pukekohe prices went through the roof you could buy at Pokeno for $300,000 to $400,000 less. When Pokeno prices rose, people opted for Te Kauwhata.”

Mr Cloughley said Ultimate Global Group identified a 38 hectare site in Putāruru several years ago and has worked closely with the South Waikato District Council to rezone areas.

He said Ultimate Global Group is an experienced company that does land development and construction around New Zealand including Canterbury, Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

The Ultimate Global Group development announcement follows an announcement in July that Putāruru born and bred property developer Tim Bartells plans to build a $200 million 254 villa retirement village in Putāruru starting in October this year.

Mr Bartells’ Putāruru Country Estate retirement village will also include a 2,000m2 five-star resort quality recreation and community facility incorporating a heated swimming pool, spa, gym, picture theatre, restaurant and café, library, doctors’ rooms, snooker and pool tables, grand piano, Menz shed, bowling green, virtual golf and more.

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