In our previous article, we’ve talked about the rules of subdivision in Auckland, as well as how you can subdivide your property and capitalise off it. The process could be lengthy and complex, depending on the scale of your property and what type of development you are looking for.
While subdivision and land development are an excellent investment, you might have wondered how much subdivision cost in Auckland. This article aims to guide you through the finer details in the cost of subdivision in Auckland.
How Much Does Subdivision Cost in Auckland?
There are several factors that can impact the cost of subdivision in Auckland. Simply put, one could not pin a specific amount on how much it would cost. The total expenses in subdivision vary between districts, the size of the subdivision, and the type of land you’d like to build.
According to Auckland Council, the average cost of a two-lot subdivision ranges between $120,000 and $150,000. This is inclusive of an approved consent, new Record of Title, professional fees, and other requirements.
This estimated cost will likely include consent processing costs, Land Information New Zealand fees, development contribution fees, infrastructure connections, driveways and accessways, and professional fees (planners, lawyers, surveyors, engineers, etc.)
However, depending on the scale of your subdivision—i.e. if you’re planning to develop multiple titles, in which case, the cost could be significantly higher.
Now to better prepare yourself for the financial aspect of subdividing in Auckland, let’s break down the cost.
Factors That Affect Subdivision Cost in Auckland
Every site is unique. Therefore, the cost of subdividing is site-specific. And if you are going to get professional services, you must remember that every company, supplier, or contractor does not offer the same quality and service. Some could be a bargain, and others can be quite expensive. Of course, while the price point is not necessarily indicative of quality, most often than not, pricier services guarantee better service and quality.
Professional fees vary in price. When subdividing, you will need to hire a professional surveyor—whose task is to carry out topographic surveys, establishing boundaries or meshing all adjoining boundaries, and more. Here’s the average cost of land survey:
- Boundary pegging for building or sale purposes can range from $1,800 to $5,000
- A topographic survey can go over $3,000
- Acquiring Certification to Council can go from $2,000 to $6,500
If you require a survey, prepare to shell out between $6,000 to $15,000. Is it worth it? Definitely. Having a good topographic plan ahead of time can help smoothen up the development process. This could also help architects and engineers to design the best solutions so you can maximise your land.
The survey process can take up to several weeks as it requires extensive planning and calculations. Some land surveyors may offer faster processing but with an extra cost.
Council Development Contribution Fee
When undergoing the subdivision process, you are required to pay the Council a development fee, which is set for the Council to recover the costs of infrastructure they provide to support the growth in Auckland.
The fee varies, once again, depending on the scale of the subdivision project. You will have to provide the Council with information regarding the property, including what is currently on the allotment and what you are planning to do or build in it.
For residential developments, the Council has to know the following:
- The size in square metres and the number of units if the project is a standalone house or minor unit
- For a rest home or hospital care institution: the number of rooms
- For hotels or motels: the number of accommodation units
If you’re pursuing non-residential development projects, the Council has to know:
- The area of the site which is not capable of absorbing rainwater
- The total floor area measured from the exterior walls
But why does the Council require developers to pay a contribution fee? Contribution fees are charged for the purpose of financing new infrastructure that could support your new development. It could be for developing or upgrading:
- Sports grounds, parks, and park facilities
- Community facilities
- Transport, footpaths, roads, and intersections
- Drainage systems and stormwater mitigation
Though the contribution fee can be a burden—financially speaking—paying it is actually a win-win for you and the Council.
Now exactly how much do you have to pay for the contribution fee? The charge is specific to the type of development you’re pursuing.
Water Connection Fee
If you are yet to build an infrastructure in your lot, you may find yourself needing to apply for a new water connection. The cost varies depending on what type of connection you require—domestic or commercial.
For domestic water connections, the cost will depend on what services you require for your home. You have three options:
- Water and wastewater
- Water only (new or additional metre)
- Wastewater only
If you are not sure on what type of connection your home requires, it’s best to seek advice from an architect, engineer, drainlayer, or other experts with this specialist knowledge. You may also want to check first if there are services available in your area.
For new connections, the application processing fees and site inspections can cost around $363. New water meter, including installation, ranges from $552 to $1,336, depending on whether you have an existing service lead or installation is required for new service lead. If you want your water meters to come with a backflow prevention device, the price can go as high as $1,800.
For subdivision and network extension connections, the price will be provided on application. If you require wastewater, the connection fee and inspection altogether will be around $18,000.
Take note, there will also be administration fees you must pay, which can go around $380. There are also other charges you must be financially prepared to pay, including:
- Meter testing ($200 – $450)
- Wastewater audit ($382 and up)
- Backflow prevention
- Tanker filling stations ($2,200 per year)
And there you have it. Make sure to include the cost of water connection in your financial planning when subdividing your property.
Power Connection Fee
There’s no denying that electricity is an essential part of our modern life and economy. We use it to light up our houses, get warm heating during winters, provide cooling during hot days, operate appliances, and more. Whether your subdivision is residential or commercial, power connection is critical.
If your property requires a new electricity connection, you will have to submit an application to the electrical authority. In Auckland, Vector Limited is the number one electricity provider.
When you add a new power connection to the electricity network, you will have to pay a contribution towards the capital investment Vector makes in the infrastructure to support the electricity network growth. This development contribution will add up to your connection fee.
As per standard connection prices, the price varies depending on which connection criteria your property has met. Refer to the table below for the pricing (subject to change without prior notice)
|Development Contribution Fee
|Residential 1 phase/60amp
|Residential 2 Phase/60amp
|Residential 3 Phase/60amp
|Commercial 1 phase/60amp
|Non-standard Residential & Commercial
|Priced per job
|Priced per job
The process for when applying a new power connection can be 7 to 9 weeks long. Before submitting an application, determine what type of connection you require, the required number of phases and amp size, and contact details of your qualified electrician or consultant.
Another thing to prepare for in the subdivision cost in Auckland is the solicitor’s fee. Getting a lawyer can help make the entire subdivision process painless and without friction. With a subdivision lawyer, you can acquire expert legal advice.
Plus, subdivision lawyers typically work closely with surveyors and engineers that they can refer to you—generally, when lawyers work with people in their own network, it helps in achieving fast and reliable results. A lawyer can even hand you a checklist of the steps necessary throughout the whole process.
Solicitors can also help with tax complications. They have contacts with tax experts to provide legal advice to ensure the subdivision process will be successful.
Having a subdivision lawyer can also help in balancing building contracts. While it is typically the builder’s solicitor who prepares the contract, having your own solicitor can help in reviewing the contracts and ensure you are protected.
Property lawyers set their own prices. So make sure to ask for quotations when seeking a solicitor. Nevertheless, you’d want to make sure that your chosen solicitor can provide you with impeccable guidance and legal advice.
Here’s a general guide on the cost of property solicitor:
|Freehold subdivision – 2 lots
|Freehold subdivision – 4 lots
|Crosslease Rectification – 2 crossleases
|Crosslease to Fee Simple Conversion – 2 lots
|Unit Title Development
|Ask for a quotation
Please note, prices shown above do not include LINZ disbursement and GST. So make sure to put these factors into consideration in your financial planning.
What is the minimum land size for subdivision in Auckland?
Each proposed lot must be at least 600 square feet and provide only one house per section. So generally speaking, you need an existing land of at least 1200 square meters or more to divide it into two.
Can I build a second house on my property NZ?
Yes you can. Also, did you know that you don’t need to split right away? As long as you can confidently meet the equipment and approval requirements, you can build a bigger house with the same name.
How long does it take to subdivide land NZ?
Below is a summary of the process and classification system. The amount of time given varies depending on the complexity and size of the section, but as a general rule, this process can take about a month per section. In other words, the separation may take about 5 to 6 months in total: sometimes more.
How long does it take to issue a title NZ?
The average listing is processed in 10.8 business days, compared to a peak of 14.9 business days in January 2022. The average business transaction is processed in 15.6 business days, compared to the peak The peak reading of 23.1 days works in January 2022. We are on track to solve many problems by the end of May 2022.
How wide should a driveway be NZ?
For 1-2 dwellings, the minimum free space for the aisle should be at least 2.8 m as long as the service cable can be located in another part of the site.
Subdivision in Auckland is not for the faint-hearted. The process is long and overwhelming and requires a huge amount of courage—and frankly speaking, a big chunk of money. Subdivision cost in Auckland can be very expensive. There are contribution fees to pay, utilities to install, and professional fees to consider. Seek legal advice and hire a professional planning consultant, so you are better equipped when venturing into any subdivision project.