Home approvals through the roof

  • 19/12/2016
Home approvals through the roof

The number of homes being approved for construction has gone through the roof again.

More than 30,000 homes were consented in the year to October and residential construction reached a record $12.5 billion, the Government says.

That's more than twice the number approved in 2011, which was a record low, but it still has some way to go to match the building boom that began in 1974, when 40,000 were consented.

It was also 3000 shy of another peak, set in mid-2004.

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith says it's the longest and strongest residential construction boom in New Zealand's history with five straight years of growth averaging over 20 percent.

"This is as fast as you can practically grow a sector as large and as complex as construction without compromising quality," he said on Monday.

"The 30,000 homes per year now being built is the fastest rate ever, with the exception of 2004 and the mid-1970s."

Dr Smith says the 2014 boom was focused on thousands of small apartments in Auckland that are no longer allowed, and the 1974 boom rapidly crashed due to high inflation.

"The current boom is much more sustainable, better balanced nationwide and also involves record levels of investment in commercial and infrastructure construction," he said.

The local housing market is under pressure, with a lack of supply being blamed for driving prices skyward, especially in Auckland.

"One-third of the homes consented over the past year were in Auckland. That's almost 10,000, compared with 9,000 in the previous year," Statistics NZ business indicators senior manager Neil Kelly said.

There were also strong numbers in Waikato and Canterbury, although the post 2011 earthquake residential rebuild was slowly winding down, he said.