KAWAU ISLAND PROPERTY SUMMARY
It is only a matter of time before the future potential of Kawau Island is realised. With Warkworth designated at the northern centre for Auckland City, Kawau property values will rapidly rise as residents recognise the benefits of owning a holiday home just 30 minutes away by boat. No holiday highway problems here.
When considering a holiday home purchase, prospective buyers often don’t get the chance to explore the neighbourhood and fully understand how everything works in the area. This is particularly true of Kawau island where many factors such as boat transport, parking, tides, access, jetties, moorings, walking tracks etc. etc. may all have an important bearing on how suitable a property may be to fulfill the aspirations’ of the purchaser.
You now have the chance to investigate and fully understand why Kawau Island works so well for many happy holiday home owners, by staying a night at Kawau Lodge and spending time with your hosts Dave & Helen Jeffery. Dave, and his wife, Helen, have owned and operated Kawau Lodge in North Cove for over 13 years and during this time have gained a huge amount of knowledge about the island and enjoy sharing this knowledge with their guests. Dave is the only full time Real Estate Salesperson resident on the island and a visit with him will fully inform any potential purchaser about the benefits of owning and living on Kawau Island
Other than jetties administered by the Department of Conservation, there are two jetties on the island that are owned by the Auckland City Council. One of these is situated at Schoolhouse Bay, the other at South Cove. All the other jetties on Kawau are privately owned, and the general public may not necessarily be permitted to use a particular jetty. Permission should be sought from the owner of the jetty to clarify the position before use.
Water tanks/water supply
There is no community-based water supply on Kawau Island; the resident relying on water collected from roofs, and in some cases from bores. Visitors should not avail themselves of the use of this water without the permission of the owners.
The number of fenced properties on the island is increasing. In most cases these fences are for protection of gardens etc. from the ravages of wallabies, and where gates are utilised, care should be taken to close firmly after use.
Walking tracks close or through properties
There are a number of walking tracks on the island that are utilised by locals in the absence of a roading network. These tracks are all on privately owned land and permission should be sought from the various landowners before use. Use of motorcycles and bicycles are usually prohibited.
So what do we know about Kawau real estate? How much of it is there? Who owns it? How often does it sell? Who buys it and what is it worth? At the risk of boring you with too much information and not enough entertainment, I will try to answer all these questions briefly in the following paragraphs.
Most properties on Kawau Island are purchased primarily because the buyers like the island, rather than because they are looking for a good investment. However, property on the island has shown itself to be a good long-term investment though subject to more fluctuations than mainland property and a good bonus on top of the immense pleasure and enjoyment that we receive from our little pieces of island paradise.
In total, there are 430 separate properties (titles) on the island, ranging in size from 150 square metres up to 714 hectares (714,000 square metres). While there are a number of traditional quarter acre (1012 Sq.M.) sections, most properties are nearer 1 acre (c. 4000sq. m.) with an average size of 5642 square metres.
Because of our maritime situation, all the original titles had water access, but with the advent of roads at School House Bay and South Cove, there are now 115 properties with road access rather than water access.
‘Riparian rights’ is a sometimes misunderstood term and, because of our situation, perhaps deserves some explanation. Older titles virtually all had riparian rights, meaning that ownership extends to the mean high water mark. Subsequent legislation has amended this to ‘mean high water springs’, which in effect slightly raises the high water line.
When a property with riparian rights is subdivided, the local district council takes a 20-metre-wide strip along the waterfront that becomes an esplanade reserve, owned by the council (commonly known as the Queens Chain). In some cases the width of this can be reduced by negotiation – say, where there is an existing building within the 20-metre zone.
There is a common public perception, from outsiders, that Kawau is a publicly owned island, which is incorrect, as most of the island is privately owned. The only land readily accessible to the public is the D.O.C. managed Mansion House Estate and Reserve and the public roads at Schoolhouse Bay and South Cove. The public are also welcome at the Kawau Boating Club during their summer season from Labour Weekend to Queens Birthday weekend but apart from all the beaches below high water mark, all the land is private and permission should be obtained from the owners before venturing on to it.
The type of person buying property has changed quite significantly over the last 20 years. About that time there were over 100 permanent residents living on the island and newcomers were buying with the intention of living there permanently. Since that time, not only have the number of permanent residents left, but also most new owners have purchased for holiday use rather than permanent living. However, more recently there has been a significant swing back to people buying with the intention of living here, often part time initially but certainly with the intention of living here full-time in the future. This is good news for the Island as a larger residential population is good for the local businesses providing more regular business for the ferry and barge operators and it wont be long before we have resident tradesmen back working on the island again
So in summary, Kawau Island a great place to live and holiday and it is so close to Auckland, being less than an hours drive from the Auckland harbour bridge and then a short 30-minute boat trip. Once you arrive you will be astounded by the peace and tranquillity, you could be a million miles from a city.
Many private owners own more than one property and the actual number of private owners recorded is only 276. In contrast, a few properties are shared by multiple owners. Many Kawau properties are held by family trusts and while I don’t have actual numbers, I would estimate that around one third of properties are in trust ownership.
National statistics show that, on average, New Zealand properties change hands every 7 years, which equates to 14% each year. On Kawau, 163 properties have sold over the last 10 years (some more than once) equating to an annual rate of 3.8% It is obvious from this that properties on the island tend to stay in the same ownership for considerable periods. Also of interest: during the last 10 years, 61% of road access properties have sold, while only 42% of water access properties changed hands during that same period.
The type of person buying property has changed quite significantly over the last 10 years. At about the time I purchased my own property, there were over 100 permanent residents living on the island and newcomers (including myself) were buying with the intention of living there permanently. Since that time, not only have a number of permanent residents left, but most, if not all, new owners have purchased for holiday use rather than permanent living. The number of permanent residents living on the island is now down to approximately 75 plus. Probably the most significant group of people buying now are ex-pat Kiwis, living and working overseas. This group, not only appreciate all the island has to offer, but are also able to afford to purchase now, ready to enjoy in a few years time when they return home.
So in summary, Kawau Island a great place to live and holiday and it is so close to Auckland, being less than an hours drive from the Auckland harbour bridge and then a short 30 minute boat trip. Once you arrive you will be astounded by the peace and tranquility, you could be a million miles from a city.