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Long, Auckland-driven construction boom ahead: BRANZ report

Tuesday 26 July 2016 04:12 PM

Long, Auckland-driven construction boom ahead: BRANZ report

By Paul McBeth

July 26 (BusinessDesk) - The pipeline of new Auckland housing will underpin a longer construction boom for the country, making up for an overestimation in the amount of commercial work in the pipeline, says the 2016 National Construction Pipeline Report.

Prepared by the Building Research Association of New Zealand and Pacifecon, a construction industry consultancy, the report shows building work is now expected to peak in 2017 at $37 billion, a year later than previously thought.

That's because Auckland's need for new residential property more than makes up for less commercial work than anticipated. Auckland is expected to dominate construction work over the six years to 2021, peaking in 2018 at $17 billion and hovering above $16 billion through to the end of the period.

"The growth in residential activity in Auckland is particularly encouraging as it forecasts that next year more homes will be built in Auckland than ever before," Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith said in a statement. "The scale of this growth is unprecedented and equates to Auckland growing by the equivalent of Whangarei every three years."

New building consents in Auckland have been lagging behind population growth, meaning the country's biggest city hasn't been able to bridge the gap between a shortage of housing and increased demand. That's seen as the primary driver behind a sustained lift in Auckland house prices in recent years, prompting the Reserve Bank to impose mortgage lending restrictions to try to cool the market.

The report estimates 94,200 new dwelling consents will be issued in Auckland between January 2014 and December 2021, the same number estimated in last year's report for the period spanning 2013 to 2020. Total annual consents aren't expected to breach the 34,000 record set in 2004, "but is projected to remain at a high level of 25,000 to 30,000 per year for the duration of the forecast."

The 2015 report forecast a 14 percent increase in all building work that year, though the actual gain was only 4 percent. That could "mostly be attributed to less than expected non-residential building activity." The 2016 report now forecasts the total value for all construction to be 3.7 percent higher over the period to 2021 than last year's report, with increased residential work offsetting non-residential work, which is seen growing more slowly and with a later peak.


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