Brooksfield – Do They Build Good Investment Properties? An Honest Review

Thinking about buying a Brooksfield property? Here is an honest review of who this developer is and whether one of their properties could be the right fit for you.

Date Published: 09/06/22

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Laine Moger

Journalist and Property Educator for 6 Years
Introduction

Visually-speaking, Brooksfield developments stand out from the rest.

This new(ish) developer and its architecturally designed, heritage-style properties has made a name for itself in the Christchurch market.

So, they’re pretty… but are they a good investment? How do their prices compare to other developers building in similar suburbs?

These are great questions, and ones we here at Opes Partners get asked all the time.

So, in this article you’ll learn the pros and cons of Brooksfield, and whether this type of property is right for your property portfolio.

Brooksfield development christchurch

Heritage homes located at 3 Maple Street, Christchurch City

Disclaimer: Here at Opes we recommend new build investment properties to investors. And at the time of writing, Brooksfield is one of the developers some of our investors choose to buy from, which we earn a fee from.

This does mean there is an incentive for us to tell you they are the best thing since sliced bread and you should definitely buy from them.

But even though there is an incentive for us to be biased, we’re still going to be fair, honest, and fact-based. This way, you can decide whether they’re the right fit for you. The answer may be ‘yes’, but it could also be ‘no’.

Who Are They?

Who Is Brooksfield?

Brooksfield have been developing residential property across Christchurch, for the past two years. This makes them a relatively new development company.

After being established in 2019, they have sold over 48 different developments, of which they currently have 10 on-the-go.

The group is owned by its two directors, Vincent “Vinny” Holloway and Oliver Hickman, who both had previous experience in the property investment industry before moving to create their own developing company.

In fact, prior to Brooksfield, Vinny and Oliver owned part of Opes Partners with Andrew Nicol. However, they have since moved on and don’t have a stake in the company any more.

The pair decided to branch out on their own terms and start this development company. But a good working relationship has still been kept.

Brooksfield specialises in smaller scale, architecturally-designed townhouse developments that all share a unique London or New York-heritage style.

Brooksfield buildings in Christchurch

Brooksfield solely builds in inner-city Christchurch suburbs. For instance they’ve built several developments in Addington, Sydenham and Edgeware.

Brooksfield developments map

Location of Brooksfield developments in Christchurch City

Q: Who are the directors of Brooksfield?

A: Brooksfield has two directors: Vincent “Vinny” Holloway and Oliver Hickman.

Q: Who owns Brooksfield ?

A: Vincent “Vinny” Holloway and Oliver Hickman own Brooksfield.

Q: What sort of properties do Brooksfield build?

A: Brooksfield builds townhouses in Christchurch City. However, sometimes they will build standalone houses.

Q: Where does Brooksfield build its properties?

A: Brooksfield builds most of its properties in Christchurch. They primarily focus on Addington, Sydenham, Edgware and other central city suburbs.

What Are They Like?

What Are Their Developments Like?

Brooksfield focuses all its development projects in Christchurch.

Brooksfield director, Oliver Hickman says “every time I think about moving up north, I buy another piece of land in Christchurch.”

Primarily, they build 2 and 3 bedroom terraced houses, ranging between 4 and 30 properties per development.

On average, there are fewer units in each Brooksfield development, compared to other developments in the city. Rather than building large 20+ unit developments, they tend to keep them under 10.

One major factor that makes Brooksfield properties stand out is the design. The exteriors of their properties are very different to what other developers are building.

This is best seen in their heritage collection, where some of their properties are designed with a New York/London heritage style.

Brooksfield London heritage style

This is because Vinny and Oliver have both spent time overseas, and were inspired by the high-density living of larger cities. That’s why they decided to implement that same style here.

But it’s not just the outside of the property that is often different.

Some of their floor plans are also unique.

For instance, the downstairs of most 2-bedroom townhouses are a single open plan kitchen/dining/lounge space.

And while some Brooksfield properties share that layout. Not all do.

In this example, the designer has used a hallway to separate the lounge and the kitchen/dining area.

Brooksfield Floor plan

This is the design of a typical London home, which gives the occupant two separate spaces.

It’s not that this is always the best floor plan for every tenant. But, it provides a different option compared to most other townhouses that are currently being built.

It sounds simple, but when you compare them to other new build developments, these small details stand out.

Example

Example of a Brooksfield Development ** 299 Selwyn Street

Here’s an example of a property that one of our investors purchased in March 2021. It’s in a row of 10 townhouses in Spreydon, Christchurch. And is a 2-bedroom + study townhouse.

This property appeared on our show, The Deal, with director Vinny Hollowell pitching. This project has since sold out.

You can watch this episode of The Deal here

Brooksfield episode on The Deal

The purchase price was $559,000 (in March 2021), and the build has now just been completed at the time of writing. The properties are currently being advertised for rent for $480 a week. That gives it a gross yield of 4.5% gross yield (based on the purchase price).

Brooksfield Townhouse Christchurch

London inspired townhouses located at 299 Selwyn street, Spreydon

A typical floor plan for a 2-bedroom townhouse has a studio-style kitchen in an open plan dining room, and separate lounge.

The second floor houses two large bedrooms, and a bathroom.

Brooksfield townhouses

For the 2-bed + study arrangements, you will often find the study on the top floor too. The staircases to the bedrooms are accessed via french doors.

Brooksfield townhouses floor plans
How Much Do they Cost?

How Much Does A Brooksfield Property Cost?

Brooksfield properties are certainly unique … but today you pay for that difference.

In today’s market a 2-bedroom townhouse from Brooksfield will typically be more expensive than a 2-bedroom townhouse from another developer.

This has changed over time.

When they started 2 years ago, Opes recommended a lot of their properties. The company was just starting out, and their pricing was sharp, while they were trying to make a name for themselves. This made them attractive investments.

However, as developers get more established, their prices tend to increase as they build a brand name.

Brooksfield review pricing

Said another way, their prices have become less competitive as they are more established.

To prove the point, here are 2 examples of Brooksfield properties in central Christchurch. Let’s compare their pricing with other developers building in a similar area.

Chirstchurch map of Brooksfield developments

Location of two Brooksfield developments on a map of Christchurch

Barbadoes Street

Brooksfield are currently advertising this set of townhouses on Barbadoes Street in Central Christchurch.

Brooksfield properties

Heritage homes located at 368 Barbadoes Street, Christchurch City

The 1-bedroom property (with a car park) is priced at $619,000.

The 2-bedroom standalone townhouse is $799,000, while the other three, 3-bedroom townhouses go for between $879k and $885k (depending on whether you purchase a middle or end house).

By comparison, in December 2021, Opes recommended similar 2-bedroom townhouses in Central Christchurch for $650,000.

Admittedly, Brooksfield’s 2-bedroom townhouse in this example is a standalone property. But this offers a comparison of what other 2-bedrooms can cost.

Bunyan Street

Around the corner, 2.6 kms away, is another new project in Waltham.

For this development, the 2 bed/1 bath starts at $659,000.

While the rest of the 3 bedrooms are either $789K and $795K. The one property with a garage tops $809K.

By comparison, an Opes investor has just put a similar 2 bedroom townhouse under contract in Waltham. The price they’ll pay is $619,000 – $40k lower than the Brooksfield property.

Brooksfield townhouse
Are They A Good Investment?

Is A Brooksfield Property A Good Investment?

Because we’ve recommended selected Brooksfield properties to our investors in the past, here at Opes, we do think some of their townhouses are good investments.

However, not all their properties will meet our criteria and qualify.

Here are a few things to consider.

Brooksfield development NZ

Heritage homes located at 44 Newmark Street, Christchurch City

#1 Will Their Designs Stand The Test of Time?

As pretty as the heritage townhouses are today … will they still be considered on-trend in the future? Are they just a fading trend?

Put simply, will people in Christchurch still be buying townhouses in the style of 100-year old villas, in 15 years for now?

When asked this question in The Deal, director Vinny says: “This style of home has been around since the Great Fire of London, if it’s been ok for the last 300 years, it should be ok for the next 15 years.”

While there is no data to suggest that a townhouse with a unique exterior will get higher capital growth – it is fair to say that the unique design will likely help with the resale potential.

Brooksfield heritage developments 2022

Heritage hmes located at 31 Harker Street, Chirstchurch City

#2 Resale Value

Christchurch is really hot right now for 2-bedroom townhouses - both for buyers and renters. But the risk of this is, one day, there will be an abundance of them.

So, investors may worry they won't be able to attract a premium price when it comes to selling the property in 15-20 years’ time.

This is because if there are many similar properties all being sold at the same time, there is more competition for you when it comes to selling the property.

This is where Brooksfield argues its unique style of housing will set it aside from its competitors like Williams Corporation who would have a more similar style of townhouse.

So, in their eyes the unique design would make it more desirable to future buyers, rather than detract from the resale value.

Time will tell which one is true.

Brooksfield 003 min

South view of 44 Newmark Street, Chrsitchurch City

#3 Cashflow

While Brooksfield townhouses tend to cost more, they don’t always get more rent.

Surprising right?

According to Venture Management’s Linda Forsyth “renters are practical. They care about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the size of the property. They’re less concerned about the exterior of the house.”

“They don’t need to fall in love with how the property looks, because they’re going to live in it for 12 months, not for 20 years.”

To be fair, a Brooksfield property may rent marginally more quickly because of the exterior … but like for like, the higher purchase price does not necessarily result in more rent. This in turn can mean a Brooksfield property may have poorer cashflow than some other properties.

Brooksfield An Honest Review

This of course needs to be judged on a deal by deal basis, as the cashflow on some Brooksfield properties will stack up. On others they won’t.

Are They A Good Developer?

Is Brooksfield A Good Developer? Can I Trust Them?

Before Opes recommends properties to our investors, each developer goes through a detailed due diligence process.

Generally speaking, a developer with less than 5 years experience would be considered to have a higher risk. But even though Brooksfield has been around for less than 3 years, this process still found Brooksfield to be well-established, with a strong track record.

According to Opes, Brooksfield has:

  • They’ve built a number of projects in Christchurch
  • They have a significant pipeline of upcoming projects and
  • Our understanding is that they have good financial backing
Brooksfield review 2022

Modern homes located at 196 Geraldine Street, Christchurch City

This can give investors confidence that the company has the scale to negotiate the supply of building materials and labour to complete projects.

Who Are They The Right Fit For?

Who Are Brooksfield The Right Fit For?

Some Brooksfield properties are the right fit for property investors, particularly if you are looking to invest in Christchurch townhouses.

And because Brooksfield primarily builds townhouses, their properties are a better fit for investors looking to grow their wealth … as opposed to investors who want to live off the rental income.

Because Brooksfield aims to develop within a short commuting distance to the central city, these properties are for investors who want an affordable property central to the city, as well as being in a steady growth and yield area.

They are also a very strong option for owner-occupiers who are going to live in the properties over the long term. These are the sorts of buyers who will pay the higher price to receive the unique product.

Brooksfield townhouse development

Heritage homes located at 51 Bletsoe Avenue

Who Are They The Not Right Fit For?

Who Are Brooksfield The Wrong Fit For?

On the other hand, if you are an investor wanting to buy a new build property outside of Christchurch…. then Brooksfield isn’t going to be the right fit for you.

This is because they only develop in Christchurch, and aren’t currently building elsewhere.

Similarly, if you wanted to grow your portfolio scope to beyond townhouses, then Brooksfield isn’t likely to be right for you either.

Also, investors who want to purchase in a higher capital growth area, and who can afford to do so, might like to consider a different investment closer to the city.

How Do I Buy One?

How Do I Buy A Brooksfield Property?

If you’ve got your eyes on a Brooksfield property, you have two main options.

#1 Go directly to them. Brooksfield have an internal sales team, who can work with you.

#2 Use a property investment company, like us here at Opes.

This is where you’ll get help from a financial advisor to:

  • Figure out which of Brooksfield’s properties are good investments (and which aren’t)
  • Look at properties from over 58 other developers too, to see if there’s a better option out there for you.
Brooksfield 008 min

Townhouse located at 151 Neville Street, Christchurch City

Conclusion

Should I Buy An Investment Property From Brooksfield?

All things considered, Brooksfield can be a great option for a property investor looking to grow their portfolio.

Brooksfield properties are visually appealing, and the differentiation from the market - coupled with a potentially more secure future resale, could make this heritage-style townhouse more attractive to investors.

But they aren’t the right fit for every investor, and not every property they build is a good investment.

This doesn’t mean those homes are bad. Not at all. All that means is not every property is a good investment. And this is true of most things.

So, whether or not one of Brooksfield’s properties is the right investment for you will hinge on the figures standing up and the deal you are evaluating.

That’s why many investors who purchase New Build investment properties use our service at Opes to evaluate many developers and find the right properties to suit their portfolios.

Check out our honest reviews about other developers here: Wolfbrook, Aedifice, Williams Corporation and Golden Homes.

Who are Opes Partners?

Who are Opes Partners and can they help me?

What is the 3-Step Opes Coaching Programme?

1. Plan out your property investment portfolio

The first step in the programme is to co-create a plan using our MyWealth Plan software. We built this software specifically to help Kiwis create a financial plan in under an hour.

You'll leave this 1-hour session with a written down plan. Pen to paper.

2. Pick properties that fit with your plan

Once you've created your plan in step #1 – your property partner will go out and find properties that fit your plan. They'll search through projects from up to 58 developers to find the best ones for you.

When you meet again, you'll review the top picks, go through the analysis, crunch the numbers together, and then decide which ones to hold with the developer.

3. Dig into the details – Confirm it's the right property for you

Once you've selected a property, you'll work for 10 days to make sure it's the right property for you. So you'll work with your Property Partner and Client Relationship Manager to dig into the details of the property.

You'll go and look at the development and be introduced to mortgage brokers, solicitors, accountants, and property managers. Their sole job is to help you figure out if this property works for you.

And you’ll have access to all the resources, tools, and data … so when confirmation day comes, you have confidence you know you’re making the right decision.

Who is the Opes Coaching Programme the right fit for?

  • You understand the concept of property investment, but who wants help putting it into practice.
  • You want a “Done for you” property investment service, so you can be a hands-off investor.
  • You are someone who has at least a 10 year investment time horizon.
  • And finally, you’re ready to become a property investor.

Who is the Opes Coaching Programme is NOT the right fit for?

  • You’re more into the smell of paint or the colour of a wall than the numbers that stand behind an investment property.
  • You only want investments that are hands-on, so you can save a few dollars here and there.
  • You have plenty of time on your hands and want to do the property investment process yourselves.
  • You’re looking for an overnight success and want to get rich quickly.

What does it cost to work with Opes Partners and go through the programme?

It’s free. Complimentary. No Cost.

Why?

The developer pays us a marketing fee when you confirm that the property is the right fit for you. Very similar to the way a mortgage broker gets paid by the bank.

Now it's important to note that we are paid the same fixed rate no matter what property you invest in.

If it’s a $500k apartment in Christchurch or a $1.3 mil 3-bedroom townhouse in Ponsonby – we get paid the same rate.

That's important because then we can recommend the right property for you, and there's no incentive to recommend you invest in a more expensive property, just so we get paid more.

I want learn more about how Opes can help me

Learn more about the Opes Coaching Programme Here

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Laine Moger

Laine Moger has been a journalist and reporter for the last 6 years. She previously worked for Stuff, The North Shore Times and Radio NZ. She has a Bachelor of Communications (Honours) from Massey University and a Diploma of Journalism from the London School of Journalism.