It seems everyones goal in life is to get that deposit on their first home. Auckland is notoriously known for it’s unaffordable property market thanks in part to wealthy overseas buyers. With the average house price ranging from half a million to a million, New Zealand now leads the world as the most frenetic property market beating out London, UK.
Mainstream media’s intent on publishing first home-buyer success stories of ‘rich Palagi kids’ who were gifted deposits from mum and dad seem somewhat unrealistic and unrelatable.
Between family commitments, fa’alavelaves, moderate wages and all round ridiculous house prices, the dream of owning a home in New Zealand for young Pasifika people is purely just that – a dream.
SUGA Anyta Sione, 38, founder of her own company, Ava Developments, wants to help more Pacific young people realise the dream of owning their own homes by assisting them via ‘subdivision’.
She says subdivision is a viable option if parents or relatives who own property already, were to sell off part of their sections. For those sitting on quarter acre sections, of which she says there are plenty living in West and South Auckland, there is a high chance that they are able to subdivide.
“We have a strong desire to help our Pacific people,” says Anyta. “And we believe these parents lives could flourish if only they were able to release some of the equity in their homes.”
Whist the concept of subdivision in Auckland is not new, Anyta says that many Pasifika people may not be aware of other avenues that can help in securing a deposit. She explains that the subdividing of property can work if parents have a relatively low mortgage or have paid it off. The children could pay for the subdivision and then become owners of the section. Children could then build a new home on the section to whatever suits their needs and budget.
“The main benefit of this is that it could potentially help young Pasifika into homeownership if mum and dad gift the subdivided section to the children. The profit would assist their children with a home deposit.
“Of course the downside is that they [parents] lose part of the section but it’s a way of helping their kids out now and can also allow them to enjoy retirement by having extra money.”
She says that there are plenty of other benefits to subdividing like paying off debts and overall financial freedom.
Although the whole process can be a lengthy and costly one with a timeframe of about 9-12 months and the involvement of numerous third parties such as the council, lawyers and architects, Anyta says her company makes every effort to ensure the process is a smooth one. Ava Developments can also assist in financing the project. And she doesn’t rule out the idea of joint family members buying together which can also be a solution as opposed to one or two people buying.
“We have valuable experience in subdivision, construction and project management and we know the most painless and quickest ways to progress the project. The homeowner then has peace of mind and one point of contact throughout, relieving them of the stress & burden.”
Anyta, whose village in Samoa is Vaovai Falealili, was born in Ranui, West Auckland and was raised there by her Samoan mother and Irish-English father. She has a wealth of work and life experience having left NZ at the age of 20 and spending three years in Australia before moving to London in 2002 where she lived for 12 years.
Her tertiary studies at the University of Westminister and vast travels to places like France, Spain and Egypt would help lay a foundation for her future business. Now a mother of two, she has returned to NZ to give her children the ‘clean green’ Kiwi upbringing and runs the new venture with her husband Afakasi Sione who comes from a construction background. Ava Developments launched in June of last year at the Pacific business expo.
Now heading into the business’s first anniversary, Anyta says much of the first year has been about raising awareness of subdivision; what it means, how to do it and more importantly how beneficial it can be. Her motivation to help her people became apparent while overseas.
“During our time in London we had read so many stories online about the high cost of living back in Auckland. We have a deep desire to assist our people to capitalise in the property market and that’s how our business idea was formed.
“We are both Samoan and so we understand the culture and that many who migrated to NZ have worked incredibly hard their whole lives and now that they are at retirement age, they may still have mortgages or other debts outstanding. They deserve better.
“But I know a lot of our Pacific parents want to leave something for their children in the future and by subdividing it’s possible to actually help them here and now while mum and dad can still retain their home and be proud.”
Find out more. Book a consultation with Anyta by visiting her website www.avadevelopments.co.nz