Taylor Scott International News
New building consents in New Zealand have increased to the country’s strongest house building rate for nine years, according to the latest official figures. Housing supply is increasing particularly in Auckland and Christchurch, according to Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith, with 25,000 plus new consents per year nationally. The latest annual figure of 25,038 compares to the low of 13,236 following the global financial crisis. A breakdown of the figures shows there were 756 new building consents for Auckland in March, which compares to just 209 per month before and 7,940 building consents in the year to March 2015 in Auckland, the highest since 2006. ‘We are well on the way to recovering the 10,500 homes lost to the earthquakes in Canterbury, with another record set for building consents. The 588 consents issued last month confirms the Government's view that the Christchurch housing market will have supply and demand back in balance by 2017/2018,’ said Smith. ‘These positive signs follow a general pattern of strong growth that has continued for almost four years. They confirm the latest GDP data showing a $9.5 billion annual investment in residential construction – an all-time high. It shows that the Government's programme of measures to increase housing supply is working,’ he added. Smith also pointed out that there are now Housing Accords in place with six local councils to free up more land faster. ‘We have initiatives in place to constrain building materials costs, rein in development contributions, cut compliance costs and invest in improved sector productivity,’ he said. He explained that the new $435 million HomeStart support package, which came into effect 01 April, is projected to assist 90,000 people into home ownership. ‘This is good progress but with strong net migration data from fewer New Zealanders leaving, we need to keep doing more. The next steps in our programme include our planned second phase of reforms to the Resource Management Act and place based initiatives like those announced today at Tamaki. The Government remains committed to supporting more New Zealanders into their own home,’ he concluded. Continue reading →
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