Is it Time to Change New Zealand’s Housing Model?

Is it Time to Change New Zealand’s Housing Model?

Home prices in New Zealand have risen in previous years, which has led many property developers to build bigger homes to increase the chances of a sale.

However, some architects believe that bigger is not always better when it comes to housing models, especially when smaller houses provide better energy-efficient features such as new home insulation systems.

Sustainable properties have emerged as a new trend amid rising power prices and a growing awareness on preserving environmental resources.

Sustainable Housing

Warren and Mahoney designer Fiona Short said that affordable housing in the country should not have to be with the lowest standards. For instance, new homes with a 6 Homestar rating only requires up to $6,000 for an average-size construction.

The trade-off for this rating will be a smaller floor plan of the house by three to five square metres. However, this would be worth the sacrifice since sustainable homes can provide Kiwis with hundreds or even thousands of dollars in energy bills, according to Short.

New home insulation serves as a factor for this cost-saving benefit.

Insulated Houses

If you are short of cash, the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority’s funding programme provides up to 50 percent of financial assistance to install ceiling and under-floor insulation at home. This applies to low-income households and property owners with low-income residents.

Kiwis have until July 1 to apply for a funding grant. Qualified properties should be built before 2000. Homeowners or tenants should also have a Community Services Card or a referral from the Healthy Homes project of the Ministry of Health.

Property owners should remember that all rental properties should have under-floor and ceiling insulation by July 1, 2019.


A larger house may offer a better return on investment, although homeowners should consider the benefits of an energy-efficient home. What would you choose between the two?