The evolution of the New Zealand state house: From ‘good bones’ to award-winning design

Close to a century after being built, the classic New Zealand state houses of the 1930s and 40s are hot property. In New Zealand’s buoyant housing market, they’re seen as affordable and attractive options for young first-home buyers and savvy investors alike. Real Estate agents promote “ex-state house” as a selling point in property listings.

Why have state houses retained their appeal? They’re part of the fabric of New Zealand society. Hundreds of thousands of us have lived in one, or next to one. They have a reputation for having “good bones”, meaning they’re seen as being structurally sound and built from quality materials. And they’re seen as tidy, blank canvases, suitable for sprucing up and adding value to.

Fast-forward 80 years, and Housing New Zealand (HNZ) is still building high-quality, state-of-the-art homes that go well beyond what’s required by the Building Code. Homes that win architecture awards and receive the highest Green Star ratings. Homes that make the most efficient use of HNZ’s land holdings. But most importantly, warm, safe, comfortable homes that provide for the needs of everyday New Zealanders.

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Source: Housing New Zealand