Residential building sector growing stronger

  • Hon Dr Megan Woods

Figures released by Statistics New Zealand today show healthy growth in residential building consents in an environment of Government support for the sector during COVID-19, says Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods.

Statistics New Zealand reported today that a record 10,063 townhouses, flats, and units were consented in the August 2020 year.

  • The number of dwellings consents in the year to August 2020 was 37,467 up 5.1% from the previous year

“Our construction sector is much more confident than it was under National and that’s now showing with record numbers of townhouses, flats and units consented - over 10,000 in the last year,” says Megan Woods.

“We are supporting the construction sector with our Construction Sector Accord and the Rapid Mobilisation Playbook to get construction going, and we are continuing to roll out support with our $350m Residential Development Response Fund. This is completely different to the hands off approach taken after the GFC from National which saw a massive drop off in construction of affordable homes.

“Our focus on removing the barriers to New Zealanders getting into warm, dry homes is helping get more homes built. Supporting more supply is essential to address the housing crisis that was inherited from National who ignored this and left a massive shortfall in housing.

“This is a complex problem that will take a long time to fix. We are addressing it on all fronts.

“One of the first things we did in Government was to stop the wholesale sell off of public housing, and have already built and acquired over 4,000 more housing places, and are on track to deliver 18,350 public housing places by 2024.

“We have multiple initiatives to encourage people into home ownership, through KiwiBuild, First Home Loans and Grants and the $400m Progressive Home Ownership programme which is ramping up across the country.

It’s great to see how well Kiwibuild is doing in Auckland. According to Colliers ‘KiwiBuild projects are selling at more than seven times the rate of other new apartment projects in the Auckland market’ and ‘are the success story of the Auckland market’ according to Pete Evans, National Director of Residential Projects at Colliers.

“We’re also investing in skills development and apprenticeships, have protected vulnerable subcontractors, and we are reforming consenting to reduce barriers to new housing developments.

“The housing crisis we inherited is a complex issue but the considerable suite of measures Labour has introduced in Government are starting to make a difference, but it will take more time,” Megan Woods said.

NB: Colliers quote is from March 2020. September 2020 figure from Colliers is five times: "Affordable KiwiBuild projects in suburban Auckland have achieved almost five times the average sales rate of the wider new apartment market."