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Building consent figures at seven-year high

Hon Dr Nick Smith
Minister of Housing

30 April 2014

Building consent figures at seven-year high

Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today welcomed the release of the latest building consent figures from Statistics New Zealand, saying the record seven-year high for March 2014 shows the Government’s policies are continuing to deliver results.

“There were 1999 consents issued in March 2014 – the highest for the month of March since 2007, and an increase of 36 per cent from March 2013. Today’s figures also show the highest number of consents issued in the first quarter of any year since 2007 and an increase of 25 per cent on the first quarter of 2013. They reflect a steady trend of growth which has seen the number of consents continuously rising since March 2011,” Dr Smith says.

“I am especially encouraged to see Christchurch and Auckland leading the country in number of consents issued. Christchurch recorded its highest ever number of building consents this quarter and an increase of 114 per cent on the same quarter last year. This news comes on the back of the Housing Accord I signed earlier this month with Mayor Lianne Dalziel and it makes me confident that we are on the right track to restore the city’s housing stock to pre-earthquake levels and ease the pressure on its rental and temporary accommodation markets.

“We also have a Housing Accord in place in Auckland, where we have recognised housing supply is under the most pressure. Last month Mayor Len Brown and I released the first monitoring report, which showed a significant increase in new sections created and dwellings consented. The figures from Statistics New Zealand are further proof. There were 18 per cent more building consents issued this quarter in Auckland than in the same quarter in 2013.

“I expect this momentum to continue in the months to come as progress under these Accords continues. There are at least 450 new houses proposed in Christchurch with Government involvement, while the third batch of Special Housing Areas for Auckland will be determined and announced halfway through this year.

“The Government has a wide programme of work underway to improve housing supply and affordability in New Zealand. We are freeing up land supply, reducing building material costs, reining in development contributions, cutting compliance costs, investing in skills and productivity in the construction sector, and supporting first home buyers through our Welcome Home Loan and KiwiSaver First Home Deposit Subsidy schemes.

“We know there is no magic bullet to solve the housing challenge but today’s figures confirm that with these policies, we are making good progress.”

ENDS

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