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Huge jump in consent figures welcomed

Hon Dr Nick Smith
Minister of Housing

30 January 2014

Huge jump in consent figures welcomed

Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today welcomed the December building consent figures from Statistics New Zealand that show 21,300 new houses were consented in 2013, up 26 per cent from 2012.

“With the number of consents issued at its the highest level in six years, these
promising figures confirm that the Government’s policies to increase housing supply are delivering results,” Dr Smith says.

“Auckland is where housing supply is under the most pressure. The Auckland Housing Accord signed in October sets a target of 9000 new houses consented in its first year. It is encouraging to see 1959 consents or 22 per cent of this target achieved in the first quarter with the October, November and December months. This is up an impressive 53 per cent on the 1297 consents issued in the same three-month period the previous year.”

“There is a lag period between the designation of the first batches of Special Housing Areas established late last year and when these fast-track consents will start appearing in building consent data. I expect these to start trickling through this year and momentum to continue as more Special Housing Areas are announced.

“As the earthquake rebuild gains momentum, building consents in Christchurch at 2542 for the 2013 year are at their highest level in six years. This will help to return Christchurch’s housing stock to pre-earthquake levels and ease pressure on its rental and temporary accommodation markets.

“Issues with housing supply and affordability are not unique to Auckland. The Government is also in talks with the councils for Wellington, Christchurch and the Bay of Plenty to investigate setting up regional Housing Accords.

“The National-led Government is committed to tackling the root causes of housing affordability including freeing up land supply, reducing building material costs, reigning in development contributions, cutting compliance costs, investing in skills and productivity in the construction sector, and supporting first home buyers through the Welcome Home Loan and KiwiSaver First Home Deposit Subsidy schemes,” Dr Smith says.

ENDS

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