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Investors need to pick the right property developer.

You need to have confidence the developer will turn those off-the-plan drawings into a fully built house.

That’s why many investors say to me: “Andrew, be honest. Who are the best developers in New Zealand?”

In this article, you’ll learn the top 6 developers we work with here at Opes Partners.

These are the ones we’ve worked with in the past and can stand behind because we’ve seen the finished product.

Just so you know, none of the developers on this list paid us to be on it. I didn’t even ask them if they wanted to be on here.

Do you have a question or comment about our top 6 developers? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section at the end of the page.

What gives you the right to say which developers are the best?

Here at Opes, we help over 500 property investors each year buy New Build properties. Over the last 5 years we’ve worked with over 140 developers from around the country.

And when a developer doesn’t build a property the right way, I’m the one that has to call them and give them a rark-up.

So I know which developers are good (and which aren’t).

On top of this, I own over 30 investment properties, so I know a thing or two when it comes to picking good investments.

Now, let’s be frank. You could go to these developers directly, not use our service here at Opes, and cut us out.

But, I’m going to tell you who the best developers are anyway because:

  • I want Kiwis to be as informed as possible
  • I think our service is so good you’ll consider it anyway and
  • I’ll never shy away from being blatantly honest.

This doesn’t mean every property these guys build is going to be a banging investment. But the list can help you narrow down your choices.

Here is my list in no particular order.

#1 Oakridge Homes

Oakridge Homes is a young company. They only started in 2021.

But don’t let this put you off. The brand and the company are young, but the team behind Oakridge Homes are extremely experienced.

I’ve worked with James Parker (Oakridge’s director) for years. We have a close relationship, and Oakridge asks my advice about the best locations to build so properties work for investors.

The company primarily builds standalone houses. They focus on building in outer Christchurch suburbs and nearby satellite towns. This includes:

  • Kaiapoi
  • Rolleston
  • Halswell
  • Woodend and
  • Belfast

Here’s an example of a recent development in Belfast, Christchurch.

Oakridge property developers

Oakridge is a solid option for investors looking for a growth property.

I like Oakridge because they’ve built a lot of properties for our investors in the past and through that we’ve built trust. I know they produce quality homes.

What they build: Standalone houses.

Where they build: Canterbury – especially Kaiapoi, Rolleston, Halswell, Woodend and Belfast.

Best for: Property investors looking for capital growth and owner-occupiers.

My team of financial advisers here at Opes have recommended 300-350 Oakridge houses to investors over the years.

#2 Four Avenues 

Four Avenues was started by 3 brothers in 2019 – Jack, George and Rob. 

They come from the Clifford family, an established family in Christchurch who accumulated a lot of land over the years. The brothers are now developing this land, building townhouses in the Garden City. 

My team at Opes are currently recommending 3 developments from Four Avenues, with a few more up and coming. 

Here’s an example of a project under construction in St Albans:

Four avenues property developers

Previously, I helped an investor buy one of their properties in Woolston. It was a 2-bed townhouse priced at $539,000. It was one of the more affordable New Builds I’d seen for a while.

That doesn’t mean they just build cheap shoe boxes; their properties are good quality.

I find these guys one of the easiest developers to work with. They come to me saying: “I’ve got this piece of land, what should we build? What’s going to work for property investors?”

What they build: Townhouses.

Where they build: Christchurch.

Best for: Property investors looking for capital growth and owner-occupiers.

My team of financial advisers here at Opes have recommended 35 Four Avenues homes to investors over the years.

#3 Ceta Developments 

Ceta Developments is an Auckland-based developer. It’s run by directors Nic, Jason and Peter. 

I’ve been working more closely with Ceta lately. Opes handled all the pre-sales for one of their recent developments in Orewa. 

All up, Opes investors bought all 39 of the 2 and 3-bedroom townhouses in that project.

Makomako property developers

Another of their recent projects had 80 townhouses in South Auckland. This has a mix of 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms.

Fun fact: Ceta is an acronym for: Cost-Effective, Timely and Affordable projects. This is genuinely what we see when working with the team.

Builds: Townhouses.

Location: Auckland.

Best for: Investors.

My team of financial advisers here at Opes have recommended 120 Ceta homes to investors and owner-occupiers over the years.

#4 Tuakiri Property

Ryan Matthews runs Tuakiri Property, a young, up-and-coming development company.

The Auckland team focuses on smaller-sized developments on Auckland’s North Shore. For example, one of their recent developments only had 8 units.

That’s a smaller project than those built by some of the other developers on this list. And some investors prefer to buy in a smaller development.

While they got their start on the North Shore, they are planning to look at properties in West Auckland in the future.

One thing I like about Tuakiri is that Ryan is easy to work with. He’s one of the only developers I know who goes to the building site every day to check progress.

That means the properties are well-built and up to standard.

Tuakiri property developers

Not all of Tuakiri’s properties are right for property investors.

Some of their properties are more premium. That means they may be a better fit for first-home buyers and other home buyers.

Those more premium properties include things like:

  • higher-spec bathrooms
  • more architectural design features
  • better landscaping

Those properties wouldn’t be the right fit for a property investor. Investors generally prefer harder-wearing materials. That’s because rental properties have to be used by multiple-tenants, and the investor has to pay for maintenance and upkeep.

Builds: Townhouses (of less than 20).

Location: Auckland (primarily North Shore).

Best for: Property investors looking for capital growth and first-home buyers.

My team of financial advisers here at Opes have recommended 54 Tuakiri homes to investors and owner-occupiers over the years.

#5 Boutique Living

As the name suggests, Boutique Living produces smaller, boutique-sized projects in Christchurch. They usually build 3-6 units at a time.

They tend to build their townhouses in inner-city suburbs like Spreydon, Somerfield, St Albans and Addington.

Most of their properties have 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

Trent Brown, Boutique Living’s director, says he doesn’t want to make projects too big. This is for 2 reasons:

  • He likes the idea that future owners won’t have too many neighbours
  • And that investors won’t be competing with each other for tenants

Boutique Living has been around since 2011, but it has only recently started working with us at Opes.

A property we recently recommended was 9 Chatham Street, Addington.

Boutique Living property developers

I find Boutique Living so easy to deal with. The team itself is quite small, but they have in-house project managers and 15 builders.

This is unique. Most developers don’t have their own builders. But, that gives Boutique end-to-end control to build properties the right way.

One other thing I like about them is that they have one builder dedicated solely to dealing with property defects in the first 12 months. So if your property has a defect they can fix it. Fast.

Builds: Boutique-sized townhouse developments (3-6 units).

Location: Christchurch.

Best for: First home buyers, investors, owner-occupiers.

My team of financial advisers here at Opes have recommended 30 Boutique Living homes to investors and owner-occupiers over the years.

#6 – Unispot  

Unispot is a big player in the Auckland property space.   

Since Opal and Joe (the directors) started in 2017, they’ve built 350+ properties.     

They specialise in large-scale developments in South and West Auckland. Places like Mt Wellington, Avondale, and Massey.

Here’s an example of a project under construction in Te Atatu Peninsula:


This development has 59 units with a mix of 2 and 3 bedroom townhouses.

Some investors like investing in larger developments. They feel like they’re investing in a wider community.

However, some investors prefer buying in smaller-scale developments. So like all developers, Unispot won’t be the right fit for everyone.

What they build: Townhouses

Where they build: Auckland

Best for: Property investors looking for capital growth.

Our relationship with Unispot is young. We only started recommending their properties to our investors 6 months ago. 

My team of financial advisers here at Opes have recommended 40 Unispot homes to investors so far.

Why aren’t the big names on this list?

These 6 developers aren’t the big names you think of when considering an investment property.

You might notice that we haven’t included some of the big names on this list. People like Mike Greer Homes, G.J. Gardner, Williams Corporation, Wolfbrook and Brooksfield.

But the person building the “best” property, doesn’t necessarily have the biggest marketing budget.

That doesn’t mean big companies build bad properties at all. Of the 140 developers I’ve worked with, some are very large. Some are very small.

But these are the 6 developers you may not have considered in the past. And several members of our staff have purchased properties from each of these.

If you want to buy a New Build from these developers, you have two options.

You can approach them directly, or you might like to work with a financial adviser here at Opes Partners.

That way you can get the right property from a good developer. Plus, you get a financial plan for how to use these properties to sort your retirement.

Opes Partners
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Andrew Nicol

Managing Director, 20+ Years' Experience Investing In Property, Author & Host

Andrew Nicol, Managing Director at Opes Partners, is a seasoned financial adviser and property investment expert with 20+ years of experience. With 40 investment properties, he hosts the Property Academy Podcast, co-authored 'Wealth Plan' with Ed Mcknight, and has helped 1,894 Kiwis achieve financial security through property investment.

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