New home permissions reach record in NZ but not enough to meet housing shortfall

Taylor Scott International News

Planning permission for new homes in New Zealand in the first half of 2015 was higher than any previous year, new data shows, but not enough to match current shortfall. Between January and June 2015 some12,057 new dwellings, worth almost $4 billion, were consented, according to the figures from Statistics New Zealand. The new building consent figures show the total floor area for the new homes was 221 hectares, enough to cover an area twice the size of Wellington Airport. In the month of June some 2,042 new dwellings were consented nationally, up 2% compared with June 2014. However, in seasonally adjusted terms, the number was down 4.1% from May 2015. Numbers in Auckland increased by 18% but in Canterbury consents decreased by 13%. ‘New dwelling consents growth this month was led by Auckland, which offset the fall in Canterbury,’ said business indicators manager Clara Eatherley. The data also shows that the total value of consents for all buildings in June 2015 was $1.3 billion, comprising $832 million for residential buildings and $454 million for non-residential buildings. However the number of new homes being built in Auckland continues to fall well short of what is required to meet the region's population growth. It is estimated that 13,000 new homes a year are needed in Auckland just to keep pace with current population growth, which is an average of 1,083 consents a month. That means that current consents were just under two thirds of what is required and the supply of new homes will need to increase by around 50% from current levels before demand and supply start to get back into any sort of equilibrium. A new report suggests that Auckland's housing shortage might not peak for another three years and could last for more than a decade. According to the Auckland Council's Housing Project Office (HPO) the shortfall could rise rapidly to 25,000 homes in 2018, compared to current levels of roughly 15,000. The HPO looked at the rate of population change, the number of dwellings required, and the likely rate of consenting to estimate how many homes would need to be built between over the next 15 years. Officials said consent numbers were continuing to increase and it was not unrealistic to assume Auckland could get to 12,000 dwelling consents a year by 2021 and if 90% of consented dwellings were built, Auckland's shortfall could be eliminated by 2027. Recently the Productivity Commission put the current shortfall at 32,000 homes and said 13,000 homes would be needed each year to accommodate new growth. Continue reading →

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