Formerly a long weekend getaway destination for Auckland City residents the town of Warkworth and surrounding communities – Matakana, Omaha, Snells Beach, are rapidly expanding into what will likely become Auckland’s next satellite town.
Situated a mere 45 minute drive from downtown Auckland, the greater Warkworth region has been earmarked in the Auckland Council’s ten year plan as the area of greatest residential growth.
This has been driven by plans to extend the Northern motorway which currently ends at the Johnstone tunnels, just south of Puhoi. The project, which is set for completion in 2021, will mean residents in Warkworth can simply get onto the motorway and drive straight through to the city.
While Warkworth, like most of the rest of the country, has seen a dramatic surge in housing prices, it remains a cheaper option than most Auckland suburbs (with the exception of the highly sought after coastal community of Omaha). The average value of a house in Warkworth Township in April 2017 is $717,400, the seaside village of Snells Beach (12 minutes from Warkworth) has an average value of $728,600 and the fishing village of Leigh sees the average home valued at $811,550.
Local Warkworth builder, Mike Bronkhorst, owner of DuraBuild Construction, comments how development of new homes in the region has been
“A lot of new land has been released for development in Omaha, Matakana and Warkworth – has seen the construction industry around here really take off”
“I founded DuraBuild in 2012 with just myself and one other employee. From here we have grown to a crew of over 20 workers – the sheer volume of new housing projects around Warkworth has meant reputable building companies have really been able to flourish”.
With the region expected to grow by an additional 20,000 people in the next 20 years, heavy government investment in local road networks aims to ease the strain on the already heavily congested roads.
“The road networks need to catch up to the residential development. On some days it can take upwards of 50 minutes to get from Matakana to Warkworth, a journey which usually takes under 10 minutes”.
A recent proposal aimed at easing heavy congestion between Matakana and Warkworth sought to connect Matakana Road to SH1 further north of the now infamous Hill Street intersection. However this was rejected at public consultation due to what locals believe is a mere short term fix, pushing for a solution which will connect directly to the new motorway.
While the Warkworth region looks set to be Auckland’s next satellite town, combining an attractive beach based lifestyle with future ease of travel to Auckland city, local infrastructure will need to be upgraded for the area to truly flourish.