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30-04-2015

Annual consents top 25,000

New building consent figures released today by Statistics New Zealand confirm the strong progress being made in increasing housing supply, particularly in Auckland and Christchurch, Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

"It is significant that we have now topped 25,000 new building consents per year nationally - the strongest house build rate in nine years. The latest annual figure of 25,038 compares to the low of 13,236 following the Global Financial Crisis," Dr Smith says.

"I am particularly encouraged by the 756 new building consents for Auckland in March, which compares to just 209 per month when National became Government. 7940 building consents were issued in the year to March 2015 in Auckland - the highest since 2006, and an increase of 77% from the annual number of 4474 prior to the Auckland Housing Accord being agreed.

"We are well on the way to recovering the 10,500 homes lost to the earthquakes in Canterbury, with another record set for building consents. The 588 consents issued last month confirms the Government's view that the Christchurch housing market will have supply and demand back in balance by 2017/18.

“These positive signs follow a general pattern of strong growth that has continued for almost four years. They confirm the latest GDP data showing a $9.5 billion annual investment in residential construction - an all-time high. It shows that the Government's programme of measures to increase housing supply is working.

“We have Housing Accords in place with six local councils to free up more land faster. We have initiatives in place to constrain building materials costs, rein in development contributions, cut compliance costs and invest in improved sector productivity. Our new $435 million HomeStart support package, which came into effect 1 April, is projected to assist 90,000 people into home ownership.

“This is good progress but with strong net migration data from fewer New Zealanders leaving, we need to keep doing more. The next steps in our programme include our planned second phase of reforms to the Resource Management Act and place-based initiatives like those announced today at Tamaki. The Government remains committed to supporting more New Zealanders into their own home.”

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