Medium Density: Housing for a growing population in NZ

At G.J. Gardner Homes, we understand the growing population and increasing diversity of New Zealand requires an increase in the mix of housing available. With the traditional detached home on a quarter acre section becoming unrealistic for many, medium density housing developments offer a more affordable and realistic alternative.

Medium density housing solutions are becoming a widely recognised requirement in our growing metropolitan neighbourhoods. These builds offer practical housing solutions to cater for singles, couples and families that can enhance and add value to any neighbourhood.

What is medium density?

Medium density typically refers to developments consisting of four or more dwellings with an average section size of less than 350m2. Familiar examples of medium density include compact, single, duplex, terraced and townhouse developments common in many areas of New Zealand.

In a New Zealand context, medium density can range from 30 – 80 dwellings per hectare, although this varies depending on factors such as public transport, landscape & the type of neighbourhood the development is in.

Why is a medium density build effective?

Variety and Affordability – Medium density reduces the required section size, leading to more affordable dwellings. This opens up the market to people who may have experienced limitations when climbing the property ladder.

Security – Open streetscapes encourage passive surveillance, fostering a sense of security for residents which can be particularly important for single or vulnerable occupants.

Location – Density allows people to live and work in established, desirable suburbs, rather than moving further away to newer underdeveloped areas which are often less connected to public transport networks. The reality of lengthy commutes and car dependency often detracts from the dream home ideal many envisage.










Aesthetic Design – Good aesthetic differentiation of building form and claddings can often reduce the ‘dense living’ perception, blurring lines between low and medium density streetscapes.

Security – Open streetscapes encourage passive surveillance, fostering a sense of security for residents which can be particularly important for single or vulnerable occupants.

Lifestyle – Many consumers prefer simpler domestic duties, not having to spend time to maintain larger sections or homes. Smaller, lower maintenance gardens allow private space without the time investment.

Medium density offers the combined benefits of both lower and higher density housing models, while still meeting wider demands of increasing population and reducing urban sprawl.
Traditional, detached housing types should not just be scaled down to this type of build. An approach that takes community and occupant satisfaction into context leads to stronger developer return and better lifestyles for the occupants.

Design philosophies that are critical for achieving the best medium density development outcomes are:

  • Understanding every suburb needs a different approach. Ensure all design fits the local context perfectly
  • Creating attractive, highly differentiated, safe streetscapes with good building form, constructed with durable, quality materials
  • Utilising clever configuration of public and private space, balancing privacy with a sense of community.

To find out more, contact your local G.J. Gardner Homes franchise today to discuss your no obligation Preliminary Development Appraisal and see how you can unlock the wealth in your land with New Zealand’s most chosen home builder.

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