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You’ve got to be cautious when choosing a property developer.

When you buy off-the-plans you’re buying drawings on a piece of paper, so you need to know the developer will turn those drawings into a well-built property.

You need to know they’re not going to use cheap building materials, and they’re not going to charge you way more money … or pull a fast one.

Here at Opes Partners we help over 450 investors buy New Build properties every year. And we work with over 97 developers around the country.

So, a lot of people ask us: “Who are the best developers in Auckland?”

That’s why, in this article, you'll learn our top 5 developers in Auckland.

Now, let’s be frank. You could go to these developers directly, not use our service and cut us out. Yes, that’s a risk of writing this article. We could drive business away from ourselves and towards these developers.


  1. we want our customers to be as informed as possible
  2. we think our service is so good you’ll consider it anyway and
  3. we’ll never shy away from being blatantly honest.

So here are our top 5 developers in Auckland in no particular order.

If you have any questions or thoughts, please leave them in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Just so you know, none of the developers on this list paid us any money to be on here. In fact, I didnt even ask them if they wanted to be listed. These are the developers from our experience that tend to produce good investment properties.

#1 Y2Y Group

We’ve worked with Y2Y since early 2023.

Y2Y are unique in that they often build standalone townhouses. You don’t often see these in Auckland. Most townhouses are connected to others.

Sure, this does mean their townhouses often cost more. But their properties are still priced well for the market.

Y2Y tends to build properties with 3 to 4 bedrooms, over 120-160 square metres, often with at least one garage. Many of their properties are in West Auckland.

One of Y2Y’s most recent projects had 19 new townhouses (a mix of 3-5 bedrooms) based at Colwill Road, Massey.

Their townhouses were built to a high standard and the numbers stacked up as an investment.

So far we here at Opes have found the Y2Y team great to work with (and vice versa).

One final point of difference. The company is run by an all-female team. That’s unique in the male-dominated construction industry. There are 2 shareholders: Vera Wu (an architect designer) and Limin Guo (a businesswoman). Limin’s daughter, Kiko, is the project manager.

Builds: Standalone townhouses

Location: Auckland (primarily in West Auckland)

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

So far Opes has recommended 54 Y2Y townhouses to investors.

Yazza min

#2 CETA Developments

CETA Developments is another Auckland-based developer, focusing on first-home buyers and townhouses.

At times they’ve been so focused on first-home buyers they won't let investors buy from them.

A few years back they only let us recommend properties to first-home buyers.

That probably raises a few eyebrows. But directors Nic, Jason and Peter want to create communities of owner-occupiers.

To make that happen they sometime sell properties under valuation. That’s to give first-home buyers a go.

We like the fact that CETA gives first home buyers a good deal and that they are a family business. That gives us the confidence to put them in our top 5.

An example of an up-and-coming project in Auckland is 36 Lyncroft Street, Mangere. It’s a development of 80 townhouses with a mix of 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms.

The 2-bedroom properties in that specific development started from $700,000. That was chosen so some first-home buyers could still access the First Home Grant.

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 (primarily South Auckland)

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

Best for: First home buyers.

So far Opes has recommended 79 CETA properties to investors and first-home buyers.


#3 Tuakiri Property

Ryan Matthews (founder) and Broden Race run Tuakiri, a young and up-and-coming developer.

The Auckland-based duo focuses on boutique-sized developments on the city’s North Shore.

That means smaller developments of 6 to 20 units.

But more recently they have been looking at sites over the bridge in Central, West and South Auckland.

One of Tuakiri’s recent projects had 8 new townhouses (a mix of 3 and 2 bedrooms) in Beach Haven.

All properties were under contract before construction started in October.

They are a smaller developer. They have 4 sites on the go with construction due to start in the next 3 to 6 months.

To date, all their developments have had 8 properties with a mix of 2 and 3 bedrooms.

Their properties usually have either a car park, carport or garage.

One thing Opes likes about Tuakiri is they are great to work with. The tight-knit team makes communication easy.


Having said that, the team won’t stay small for long.

Ryan and Broden move into their Beach Haven offices next month. And they plan to bring a few more people on board to bolster their workforce.

Tuakiri say they change their properties based on the target market.

For example, properties for first-home buyers will have more premium products. These are things like:

  • higher-spec bathrooms
  • more design features like large windows and
  • enhanced landscaping.

Compare that to property investors. They want hard-wearing materials that are easily replaced if the tenant breaks something.

Builds: Boutique-sized townhouse developments (less than 20)

Location: Auckland (primarily North Shore)

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

So far Opes has recommended 30 Tuakiri properties to investors and first-home buyers.

Tuakiri Property

#4 Neilston Homes

The Neilston Homes team has over 70 years of experience in the building industry.

It’s a family-owned business, best known for its homes in Hobsonville Point.

Neilston Homes primarily builds in central Auckland suburbs. Two recent projects are located on Freeland Road and Balfron Ave, both in Mount Roskill.

These properties were closer to the city centre than Opes would usually recommend. That’s because properties close in are more expensive, so they often have a lower yield.

But the cashflow on these properties still stacked up.

Investors say that Neilston Homes tend to build properties they’d want to live in themselves. That’s why many investors choose to buy a Neilston Home.

That does mean their properties are more expensive, but the company builds in areas where home buyers will pay that premium.

So, while you’ll get a larger property with a developer like Y2Y, you get a better area with Neilston.

Neilston Homes doesn’t build as many properties as some other names on this list.

And managing director Tony Houston has a good relationship with KiwiBuild’s CEO.

That’s why the team do a lot of work with KiwiBuild. In a development of 10 townhouses, Opes investors may be able to invest in 3 to 5 of them. KiwiBuild typically gets the rest.

Builds: Townhouses

Location: Auckland (primarily central areas)

Best for: Property investors looking for growth and KiwiBuild buyers.

Opes has recommended 25 Neilston properties to investors and first home buyers.

Neilston homes

#5 Safari Group

Safari Group builds different types of properties compared to others here. They build high-yielding properties.

For instance, the company will often build a hotel complex. Investors can then buy hotel rooms, apartments and dual-keys in the building.

One recent project – The Residences in Ellerslie, Auckland – featured on The Deal.

The development had a selection of studios, 1-bed, 2-bed, and dual-key apartments.

That project was not Safari’s first rodeo. They’re a well-established company and have built large hotels in Auckland, Queenstown and Wellington.

It’s important to know how Safari Group sets up their hotel leases. If you buy a hotel room from them your room gets a long-term lease from a hotel operator. And whether they rent your room or not, you still get paid.

That doesn’t happen with some other hotel room investments.

Safari Group is run by its two directors, Robert Neil and Stephen Taylor. They are both licensed builders who joined forces in the mid-nineties.

They’ve been around for 25 years and have a strong reputation and experience in the business.

Something cool for investors purchasing a Safari development is the live on-site cameras,

so you can see exactly what is happening at your build in real-time, or view a progression time-lapse.

Builds: High-yielding apartment and hotel rooms

Location: Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown

Best for: Yield-focused investors.

So far Opes has recommended 38 Safari Group properties to investors.

Safari Group

Why aren’t the big names on this list?

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 and Wolfbrook.

All these developers build a lot of properties in the Auckland property market.

But we find that the bigger developers have bigger teams. They spend more money on offices. They have bigger brands, and so their properties tend to have a bigger price tag.

Here at Opes Partners we focus on property investors, so the numbers have to stack up.

That’s why choosing a smaller developer often makes sense. They tend to be more affordable than the bigger ones.

That doesn’t mean the bigger developers never build good investment properties. But they’re not the companies we’d recommend first.

This list is based on our experience, and the numbers we see when evaluating properties.

Why would I use Opes Partners rather than going to a developer directly?

Here at Opes Partners we recommend New Build properties as investments.

So you might think … “you’ve just told me which developers you work with. Why don’t I cut out the middle man and go directly to them?”

The truth is you could, and some people prefer that.

But if you do go to a developer directly you do miss out on a few things. If you work with Opes –

  • You get a property investment plan (a financial adviser will create this with you)
  • You know your property is a good investment, because a financial adviser will forecast the cashflow with you. Just because a developer is on this list doesn’t mean everything they build stacks up
  • You get advice on how to buy and set up your investment property.

There is a lot more service when you work with Opes Partners. Click here to see the full list of extras you get.

So, if you want to buy a New Build investment property we can help you find the right property, from the right developer. It’s all part of the service we offer.

Opes Partners
Laine 3 001

Laine Moger

Journalist and Property Educator with six years of experience, holds a Bachelor of Communication (Honours) from Massey University.

Laine Moger, a seasoned Journalist and Property Educator with six years of experience, holds a Bachelor of Communications (Honours) from Massey University and a Diploma of Journalism from the London School of Journalism. She has been an integral part of the Opes team for two years, crafting content for our website, newsletter, and external columns, as well as contributing to Informed Investor and NZ Property Investor.

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