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Latest figures show good progress in Auckland

Latest figures show good progress in Auckland

Two sets of figures released today show good progress is being made on increasing housing supply under the Auckland Housing Accord, Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and Mayor Len Brown say.

The latest building consent figures from Statistics New Zealand show more building consents were issued in Auckland in the year to April 2014 than in any 12-month period since the year to February 2007. For the year to April 2014, there was a 41 per cent increase in the number of issued consents compared to the year before, and a 24 per cent increase since March 2014.

These numbers are supported by the second joint Auckland Housing Accord Monitoring Report from Auckland Council and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), released this afternoon by the Minister and the Mayor, and which indicate Auckland is on track to exceed its first year Housing Accord target by almost 1300 dwellings consented and sections created.

The report covers the first six months of the Accord, from October 2013 to March 2014. It shows the net number of dwellings consented and sections created in Auckland is at 5134 halfway through the Accord’s first year – more than half the target of 9000. In addition, more new dwellings were consented (3,417) in this period than in any similar period since 2006.

“I am encouraged by the progress the Government is making together with the council. We are rezoning areas at an unprecedented pace and this will bring thousands of more homes on-stream. There are no instant or magic solutions to Auckland’s housing challenge but the latest figures confirm our land supply reforms are working,” Dr Smith says.

The Accord agreed to by Auckland Council and the Government provides for the creation of Special Housing Areas by the council with the approval of Government. Qualifying developments in the areas are able to be streamlined and fast-tracked.

A total of 63 Special Housing Areas have been established in three tranches to date, with an estimated yield of 10,000 new homes over the three years of the Accord, and around 30,000 over the next 12 years. A fourth tranche of Special Housing Areas is expected to be announced in August.

“The Government’s response to improving housing affordability is based on the substantive inquiry of the Productivity Commission in 2012. This Accord mechanism is focused on the land supply issue but other reforms are underway to address the complementary issues of infrastructure, building materials, compliance costs and improving the skills and productivity of the building sector,” Dr Smith says.

“Today’s report show the pace of building is picking up in Auckland, driven by strong demand, a buoyant economy, and supported by record processing times by the council’s consents team,” Mr Brown says.

“I am delighted with the progress we are making in partnership with central government to identify Special Housing Areas and to bring forward new housing developments,” Mr Brown says.

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