Clarke Group targets rental market

Clarke Group targets rental market
Auckland’s Clarke Group delivers fully furnished rental accommodation in strategically located areas that address the growing need for affordable rental property.

With the growing need for rental accommodation in the Auckland region an innovative business model is helping alleviate this issue by delivering a series of residential studio developments.
Property development firm Clarke Group is Auckland’s largest residential studio developer delivering fully furnished rental accommodation in strategically located areas that address the growing need for affordable rental property, says Clarke Group business development manager Chris Scott.
“Auckland has a deficit of available housing to service the current and future population,” says Chris.
“This is a controversial social issue and the result of slow moving public bodies and flawed forecasting of population increases coupled with a changing global migration trend that by all accounts appears unplanned for,” he says.
Chris says the premise behind the Clarke Group business model is not just to offer a sound investment opportunity over the short and long term but also deliver “an effective solution to a pressing societal issue and provide affordable rental properties targeted at markets most in need of this accommodation”.
“Not only are the solutions strategically located to benefit those wanting to live close to where they work they also provide a safe and comfortable living environment.”
He says that Clarke Group is working with local bodies to meet Auckland’s accommodation shortage, particularly to address the lack of quality rental accommodation at the lower end of the market.
He says that in Auckland the strongest rental demand is centred in the south, followed by the west.
“The Government undertakes studies in relation to the Government-subsidised market to determine where people would most like to live and the results of such studies provide further support to this conclusion.
“The effect of demand within the social sector is increased pressure on the private rental market and is therefore a positive demand-driver for residential studios. We want and need to focus our efforts on providing better housing options. It is a basic human need to have a roof over our heads and as a company it’s a good feeling to be able to say we’re helping alleviate this issue.”
He says the Clarke Group model has been a winning formula to date with the developments completed so far running near 100% occupancy, providing a well-rounded investment with relatively low vacancy risk.
“It’s a win-win situation – tenants get affordable, quality accommodation within the community in which they work, we help ease rental demand which reduces the number of people without quality housing and on the other side investors can enjoy profits from a property development along with strong annual rental returns.
“t’s hard to see an end to the rental issues facing a number of communities across New Zealand and Auckland in particular.
“House prices have increased to a level that is unaffordable for many people and incomes simply haven’t kept up. Thus more and more people are looking for rental solutions.”
Chris says evidence of this can be seen in the already growing wait-list of tenants for their next project, 75 fully furnished studios on Chapel Road in Flat Bush.
The site has been purposefully selected to serve the East-Auckland rental market, located within close proximity to Botany Junction and the Botany Big Box Shopping Centre.
Clarke Group targets rental market
It is typical of Clarke Group’s methodology in which each studio is a self-contained fully furnished room and comes with kitchenette and ensuite. Tenants also have access to communal kitchen, laundry and lounge facilities.
Each development is fully fenced with swipe card access into both the development and into individual blocks and rooms. “We haven’t even turned dirt yet and have potential tenants lined up 12 months from completion,” says Chris.
Clarke Group is owned by managing director Austen Clarke who originally started his property development career in Hamilton in 2001 and formed Clarke Group in 2013.
He brings expertise in project management, strategy, contract negotiation and building relationships with partners as well as financiers and trading banks. Clarke Group undertakes projects via a joint venture, equally owned by each party.
In addition to the Chapel Road project Clarke Group is in the pre-construction phase of 100 studios in Manurewa and a further 140 in Takanini.
Chris says that Clarke Group plans to continue to roll out its successful model to various urban centres around New Zealand to meet the accommodation shortage.
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