A Brief History Of Ponsonby Real Estate

I am frequently asked for my opinion as to influences, trends, nature of the buyers etc. relating to Ponsonby Real Estate. For example, why was this area increasing in value more quickly than other areas leading up to the end of the residential boom in 2007, and why, whilst other Auckland suburbs have shown decreases over the past 2 or 3 years have median house prices generally increased in ‘Greater Ponsonby’?


Historically, Ponsonby was one of the first areas of Auckland settled to house the merchants and workers who established the CBD. The northern slopes, facing Auckland Harbour, were generally settled by the wealthy business owners whilst the land not facing the sun, in areas such as Freemans Bay, some parts of Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Newton etc.

were settled by workers and manual labourers, both sites and homes were of a smaller scale. From the 1950’s fashion trends were that these older wooden homes fell out of favour and the famous ‘quarter acre’, found in newer suburbs became more popular. Ponsonby fell into dispute with homes receiving little maintenance. Renting became the norm, with the 60’s and 70’s seeing many homes turned into boarding houses or student flats. Real Estate in this area was not something seen as a desirable investment. With improvements in global travel, kiwis became famous for our propensity to travel the world – our OE.

Those returning had experienced the joys of the European lifestyle with cafes, wine bars, delicatessens etc. These areas in Europe tend to be centred close to the CBD of European cities. The option of buying run down villas at an affordable price and doing them up became a growing trend. Today, areas such as Ponsonby offer a lifestyle every bit as sophisticated as the European cities and with our poor public transport, petrol prices and congested roads, families raising children in the area has become a desirable option. School rolls have grown and values have risen dramatically. Real Estate in this Auckland suburb is once again in vogue. The Global Financial Crisis has had an effect upon us all, but as ‘Greater Ponsonby’ is tightly defined geographically the number of people wishing to buy in the area will always exceed the number of available properties thereby putting pressure on values.


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