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Fletcher living – Do they build good investment properties? an honest review

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


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Fletcher Living is the third busiest property builder in New Zealand.

But ... do they build good investment properties?

Because we work with 97 developers and thousands of investors each year, this is a question we – here at Opes Partners – get asked all the time.

In this article, you’ll learn the pros and cons of purchasing a property from Fletcher Living and whether this type of property is right for your property portfolio.

Full disclaimer, you should know that here at Opes we recommend New Build investment properties to investors. And, at the time of writing, we don’t recommend Fletcher Living properties to investors.

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

Who are Fletcher Living?

Fletcher Living builds residential apartments, townhouses and standalone houses in Auckland and Canterbury.

BCI places them as the third busiest home builder – between Williams Corporation (#2), and Mike Greer Homes (#4).

A strong pro for a company as well established as Fletcher Living is they’ve got some grunt behind them.

They’re backed by a large publicly-listed company – the 14th largest listed company in New Zealand.

But, just to clear up a common confusion, Fletcher Living is part of the “residential and development building” division of Fletcher Building Group, but they’re not the same thing.

Fletcher Building Group has many divisions including: construction, concrete, manufacturing and distribution, and an Australian division.

As a company, Fletcher Building Group began in the early 1900s when James Fletcher built his first house in Dunedin.

From there, James and his brothers began Fletcher Bros Ltd in 1915, which has become the Fletcher Building (as it’s still known today).

Fletcher Building Group employs around 9,000 people in New Zealand, but it also has manufacturing offices in Australia and the South Pacific.

What are Fletcher Living’s developments like?

Fletcher Living primarily builds New Build standalone houses, although they also build townhouses and some apartments.

This is unique, as many other developers primarily focus on one property type (and sometimes two).

For instance, developers like Oakridge and G.J. Gardner primarily build standalone houses.

Fletcher Living has developments in 18 locations, spread between Auckland and Canterbury (Lincoln, Halswell and Central Christchurch).

They also build apartments in Auckland and Christchurch central.

The bulk of Fletcher Living’s listings (72%) are in Auckland, with the rest coming from areas in Canterbury (28%), according to our analysis of listings on their website.

The average standalone house is 3.5 bedroom, which tells us there are lots of 3 and 4 bedroom houses on the stock list.

Fletcher Living deals in large-scale townhouse developments as well as suburb-sized neighbourhoods of standalone houses.

For example, the new development in Homai (South Auckland) will deliver approximately 160 new homes. This includes a mix of 2 to 5-bedroom townhouses and standalone houses.

Fletcher living

Similarly, Mataī Springs in Halswell (Christchurch) will deliver 168 new properties, offering the same mix of 2, 3, and 4-bedroom properties.

Fletcher Living has a considerable number of show homes in Auckland and Christchurch (13 and 3 respectively), which is relatively rare for New Build developers – particularly in Auckland.


A big point of difference for Fletcher Living is they are building a lot more 3-bedroom townhouses compared to the likes of Wolfbrook and Brooksfield.

At the time of writing, Fletcher Living has 70 terraced properties in Auckland (and only 2 in Canterbury).

The properties range in price, starting at $580k (for a 1-bedroom in Flat Bush, Auckland) going up to $2.3 million (for a 3-bedroom duplex home in Three Kings, Auckland).

Generally speaking, the majority of Auckland townhouses are 3-bed townhouses, sitting in the $800k to $1.2m range.

Here is an example from the Whenuapai development:

Fletcher living review

This 3-bedroom townhouse has 1.5 bathrooms (this means a full bathroom and an extra toilet) for $875k.

On the ground floor there is an open plan kitchen, living and dining area, and a toilet. All 3 bedrooms and bathrooms are upstairs, and share the main bathroom.

For an extra $24,000 (and an extra 12 sqm), you can get another 3 bedroom townhouse in Glen Innes – which does come with an en suite.

Fletcher living

This property is being sold off-the-plans and is due to be finished early 2023.

Standalone houses

Here is an example of a 3-bed, 2 bathroom standalone home in Halswell – Christchurch.

These properties are priced between $749k - $799k, which means they are the most affordable properties offered by Fletcher Living in the area.

Fletcher living houses

The property has an internal access garage, an open plan living and dining area.

How much does a Fletcher Living property cost?

Fletcher Living homes start at around $480k, and go all the way up to over $2m. Obviously, this price is dependent on the property type and location.

Let’s talk about Auckland and then move to Canterbury.

How much does a Fletcher Living property cost in Auckland?

In Auckland, apartments start at $480k for a 1-bedroom in South Auckland, and go all the way up to $949k.

In terms of townhouses, prices can range from $580k to over $2m. But, the average is just under $1.1 million.

Generally speaking, most of Fletcher Living’s Auckland properties are priced over $1 million.

Properties only come in under this point when they are further from the central city, or when the bedroom counts are lower.

For example, there is a cheaper option in Stonefields for a 2-bedroom property at $949k.There is also a 2-bedroom terraced house in Red Beach for $899k, or a 3-bedroom townhouse in Manurewa for $869k.

How much does a Fletcher Living property cost in Canterbury?

The least expensive property in the Canterbury Region is a 53 sqm 1-bedroom apartment, which starts at $499,000.

The most expensive property on their stock list is a $1.3 million, 3-bed, 3-bath townhouse, located in the centre of Christchurch. This is currently their only townhouse listing in Christchurch.

Fletcher living

Are Fletcher Living properties good investments?

Here at Opes Partners, we don’t currently recommend Fletcher Living properties. This is the same as some other developers like Williams Corporation and Du Val.

Why don’t we recommend Fletcher Living properties? Well, not all good properties will make good investments.

While we have no concerns about Fletcher Living’s ability to build a house – some of their homes are better suited to owner-occupiers who are searching to build their family’s forever home. They’re often not the right fit for property investors looking for the best return.

This is because at a certain price a property is no longer a good investment.

For example, there are a lot of Auckland properties priced over $1m. This is generally too high a price point to make a good investment (regardless of who the developer is.

Let’s compare:

Here’s a comparison between two similar townhouses – one from Fletcher Living and one from Ceta Developments (a developer Opes currently recommends):

Fletcher living review
  • Ceta Developments, Bowater Place, Manurewa, 2-bedroom, 1.5 bath, 70sqm start at $700k. Properties are expected to rent for $615-$655.
Ceta Development

These properties are a 6-minute drive from each other, and are both in the heart of South Auckland.

The Fletcher Living property is 25 sqm larger and costs an extra $75k.

On the surface these two properties could look quite evenly priced. In fact, the Fletcher Living home is a bit bigger … so why aren’t we recommending them?

It comes down to the marginal yield, or what the extra rental income you will receive based on the money you spend on a property.

So, if you spend an extra 10% for 25 sqm, are you going to get that back in rent?

A rental assessment says that the lower-priced (Ceta) property will rent between $615 and $655.

So, for the yield to make sense, since Fletcher Living’s property costs 10% more, the property would also need to rent for an extra 10% ($65 a week).

The question now becomes: “Am I, as an investor, going to get an extra $65 a week for that extra $10% spent on my house – in this instance for an extra 25 sqm?”

From our experience, the answer would be “no”. That’s because tenants are willing to pay for more bedrooms. But, they are often not willing to pay substantially more for extra space on its own.

Who are Fletcher Living the right fit for?

Some Fletcher Living properties could be the right fit for property investors.

Because they tend to build a lot of townhouses and houses (growth properties), they will be a better fit for investors looking to grow their wealth … as opposed to investors who want to live off rental income.

Fletcher Living also tend to build larger homes on average. As a general rule, New Build properties of this larger size tend to be a good fit for investors who can afford to spend a bit more on an investment property.

But, as mentioned, not all of their properties are good investments. For instance, the more grandiose $2m homes may well be of a high standard, and a good option for an owner-occupier … but they will likely not be good investments.

Should I buy an investment property from Fletcher Living?

All things considered, Fletcher Living is a solid developer that produces properties on a large scale.

But this doesn’t mean they are going to be the right fit for every investor, and not every property they build is a good investment. And this is true of most things.

So, whether or not one of Fletcher Living’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.

Write your questions or thoughts in the comments section below.

Opes Partners
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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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