Leasehold Apartments in the Viaduct Basin, Auckland CBD

Apartment Specialists Podcast No: 54


The Viaduct Basin is a sought-after location in the Auckland CBD. It is a large waterfront area with many different leasehold apartment buildings available to buy.


Good day, my name's Andrew Murray from the Apartment Specialists. Today I am talking about Auckland's famous Viaduct Basin where over 1100 leasehold apartments are. It's one of the best places to live in the Auckland CBD because, as you can see by the photos here, you've got the lifestyle. You've got parks. You've got some of the hottest bars and restaurants in town and people can literally drive their boat to their doorstep.

Anyway, I thought I would just show you where this is in Auckland. This is my second podcast in regards to showing you where leasehold apartments are in the Auckland CBD and I will just go through that now. As you can see here, this is Auckland. You've got Freemans Bay and you've got Parnell over here, Queen Street - New Zealand's biggest city - and then you've got the Viaduct Basin.

Now this is where over 1100 of 3000 leasehold apartments in the CBD lie and it's called the Viaduct Basin. It was owned by Ports of Auckland. Now, it's owned by Viaduct Harbour Holdings Limited which was bought by Trevor Farmer, a former owner of Freightways years back in the late 90s. His land actually continues. He owns all of this here, and then goes further to about here. Then you can see here in green which is called Wynyard Quarter. Now there aren't any leasehold apartments on there yet but there will be and it's going to be really exciting times in the next five-ten years to see this whole area full of parks and apartments that are selling on average for $500,000 and that's the starting price. So this whole area is really going to become an amazing part of Auckland as you can already see it partly is.

So getting back into the Viaduct Basin, what I'm going to do is take you through that area and just show you strictly dealing with apartments, not the commercial buildings, the commercial buildings that lie in the Viaduct Basin or the second largest area where leasehold apartments are in Auckland. I'll zoom up here and I'll run that again. So what I'm going to do is start from Princess Wharf and go all the way through here and right back to the lower Quay and show you those buildings. There are about 20 buildings that have apartments through here, or 20 complexes, and so maybe it will be a little long one. But I hope you find it helpful.

Okay, we are going to start at Princess Wharf. Now this has six different sheds. You can count them, one, two, three, four, five, six with the Hilton at the end. I quite like this view. You can see at the end where you've got the swimming pool here - but the apartments - the views are just phenomenal. You literally wake up and you're looking out to the harbour, Rangitoto, and that kind of thing. Then along here you've got restaurants and bars all the way down the side and you've got parking in the middle. So it is really a stunning place to live. Then you come down here, now this is - Quay Street actually extends down here, so Quay Street extends through here.  I'm just going to turn that around to save confusion.

Quay Street actually extends down here and Princess Wharf having 300 apartments actually has an address of 137 to 143 Quay Street. Then we head along to where all the parties happen. You've got all the bars here, Soul Bar, you've got a lot of different bars and really nice restaurants. You've got Kermadec up the top, which is a really nice seafood restaurant, then you've got the Sebel Suites. Now the Sebel Suites is on 85 Customs Street which is coming along here and that has 144 apartments. The majority of them in the hotel leases but you are able to take them out and use them as your personal crash pad, but obviously extremely central especially since this is where party happens.

Then the next to it you have The Quays. Now that's another hotel complex which has about 99 apartments give or take. And they again can be purchased and you can actually take over the lease and have a crash pad as well and they're all very spacious and very well designed. Now, through here you can see this is all commercial. You've got the Tepid Baths here and then as you go along here. This is one of my favourite complexes. This is called The Parc. For obvious reasons - there's a park in the middle and we actually go into these apartments. They've got olive trees, they've got fruit trees and you can actually smell it in there. You don't feel like you're in the middle of the CBD. You feel like you're out in the country and that's what I really love about it. This is talked about as one complex but it is actually made up of quite a few. You've got 132 Customs Street here, you've got 128, 124 Customs Street West all the way through. So each one of these has its own address and has about eight, ten, or six apartments in each one of these blocks and actually have views on both sides. There are about 122 apartments in The Parc, which is actually spelt with a 'c' interestingly enough, and yet because of their size that's the only reason why there is only 122.

The largest blocks are your Lumina which is 21 units on 11 Pakenham Street which is this here. Then you have your Vibe apartments which is this whole corner here which has 61 apartments and is on Market Place, specifically 16 Market Place. Now, I'll give you an opposite view of that park so you can see its also got a beautiful tennis court here and some really wealthy New Zealanders live in here. I won't mention names as they probably won't want me mentioning them.

I'll just turn around here, now here you've got The Point site at 121 Customs Street West here and it has 83 apartments. Then you've got Viaduct Point which is 125 Customs Street West and has 78 apartments. They've got a little park in the middle here which is quite nice. They've got lovely views on these corner units, they overlook obviously the harbour. Then here you've got Latitude 37, now that is on Pakenham Street again and there's actually 95 apartments in here. This is the west side. This is to the east, one's got 44 the other's got 50 apartments but basically the same, very well designed, very large and very spacious and a great place to live.

Now, then you carry on here and this is all commercial, you've got carparks here, you've got your Microsoft, you've got your KPMG and as you can see as we come along here you've got your Vodafone building which won awards. And this is specifically where your Viaduct Basin stops. You're also getting here though there's Fonterra's head office which is New Zealand's largest company. It's just in the process of being constructed here. As we move along here you've got Sofitel Hotel, this is a private hotel and you can't buy the apartments in here. And then you've got Lighter Quay.

Now, Lighter Quay is a beautiful complex. I'll show you from this side here. There are three blocks. You've got your Halsey block, you've got your Stratis block and you've got your North block. They're all very spacious and are seen as one of the best complexes in Auckland, as well as the other ones I've showed you. But this is a little better quality standard and you'll know when you see the facilities and the walkway. It's a really nice place to live. As you go along here, now Lighter Quay apartments is at 75 to 89 Halsey Street and this pretty much wraps up all the apartments that are in this basin area. As you can see this whole area here is just waiting to be developed and is in the process of being done so which is all going to be turned into parks so it's going to be really exciting.

Hopefully that gives you an idea of this whole area of leasehold apartments known as the Viaduct Basin and/or Auckland Waterfront Apartments. Next I'll be talking to in the next podcast will be the next lot of leasehold apartments which are in Beaumont Quarter which is this area here.

Thank you. I hope this helps. If you're wondering what your apartment in this area may be worth at the moment or you're thinking of buying apartments in this area, just let me know. Contact me through my website or at [email protected].


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Comments (7)

  • Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this
    post and also the rest of the site is also really good.

  • Having read this I believed it was rather informative.
    I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this short
    article together. I once again find myself personally spending
    a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

    • I know…..I’m in the Parc all the time…DUHH.. So Sorry to all, just look clearly everyone as their obviously is not one there I just had a blonde moment.

      I do all my pod-casts on the fly so I make mistakes from time to time….. ie for some reason I said tennis court when you can’t even see one. Apologies.

      I thought of doing it again when an owner I was working for in the Parc pointed it out to me but it was too late. Google maps has changed so I can’t get those satellite pictures from above anymore which I think is a great view for everyone.

      Well done for pointing it out though I’m impressed. I didn’t even notice I said it.

  • Thanks mate. Leasehold Auckland Apartments definately have their place, they have just had a bad wrap in the papers.

    People just need to get the facts and then an educated decision can be made.

  • HI Andrew, I’m coming back into the ALK market and want to buy inner city- seems like you know your stuff- can you please explain the leasehold issue – I’m one of those people who wants to make an educated decision…. and potentially help me find a 3 beady- in the viaduct basin.

    kind regards, michelle

  • Hi Michelle,

    The difference between a lease hold apartment and a freehold apartment is the ground rent.
    A freehold apartment has a body corporate fee, rates, power and water and collectively all the owners own the building and the land underneath it.

    The difference with lease hold is you don’t own the land underneath and so each year an amount or what’s called a levy is paid to the owners of the land.

    This value is decided by the terms set out in the lease, but in most cases is worked out by a percentage of the land value. This in most cases with Auckland apartments 6 or 7%.

    Now the value of the land is generally valued at what is the value if sold without the apartments on it and this depends on how the land can be used. ie things like easements, height restrictions and other limitations in the district plan will outline what the land can be used for and so its value to a purchaser.

    I won’t go on but a leasehold apartment is worth less because of these outgoings and the value is determined by a comparison if this apartment was freehold – what would it be worth and what would the mortgage be?

    Ie The apartments in the viaduct, some of the large ones if anywhere else in the world given their location would be worth millions of dollars but due to the leasehold component they are much less. ie you can live the life style without the outlay and use your money elsewhere.

    The downside is yes there is capital gain with leasehold apartments in my opinion (if the apartment is desirable) but not as much as if it was freehold. But having said that the money you don’t have tied up in your home you can use elsewhere to make more money.

    I hope this has been helpful

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Leasehold Apartments in the Viaduct Basin, Auckland CBD