Wellington City Council sees strong growth in housing consents
A record number of new residential building consents for the capital will help stop the capital ending up in a housing crisis like Auckland, Wellington's mayor says.
Wellington City Council has issued a record 1204 consents for new dwellings or sections in the past six months, compared to 788 in the previous 12 months.
This means the council is likely to meet its yearly target, set by the Wellington Housing Accord, for the first time since the accord started three years ago.
The accord established special housing areas to fast-track the building of new homes in the capital.
Consents are recorded from the July to June financial year. In 2014-15 there were 837 and in 2015-16 there were 788 consents.
Wellington Mayor Justin Lester said the council was making good progress against its current annual target of 1500.
So far – from July 1, 2016 to 31 December 31, 2016, 498 new dwellings and 736 new sections were consented.
Major developments included a new subdivision in Amesbury Dr, providing 215 new consents and 131 from a new subdivision in Silverstream Rd.
The figures would be a boost for Wellingtonians concerned about finding affordable homes, Lester said.
"It's encouraging to see the building of new homes is beginning to kick into another gear. We know we have real issues with a lack of housing supply in Wellington and we don't want to end up like Auckland."
He considered anything below the median Wellington price of $530,175 to be affordable.
A strong local economy, confidence in the city and strong demand for homes had likely led to the high number of consents, he said.
Deputy mayor and housing portfolio leader, Paul Eagle, said while the numbers were a big boost, there was still more to be done on affordable and social housing in the capital.
There was a real shortage of affordable homes, especially in the rental market, and the council had a waitlist of more than 300 people for social housing, he said.
"That's where we want to be focusing the council's efforts over the next few months."
Tommy's agent Nicki Cruickshank said the consents would only offer relief to the housing situation if they were for inner-city builds.
She believed many would likely be for townhouses that were sold off the plans.
Major developments for new dwellings include the Arlington apartments (102 dwellings for social housing), new apartments on the corner of Roxburgh and Majoribanks St (30 dwellings), An apartment building on Victoria St (75 new dwellings) and a change of use from office to residential on Taranaki St (58 new dwellings).
New sections include, a subdivision on Silverstream Rd (131 new sections), three subdivisions in the Lincolnshire-Woodridge Special Housing Area (51, 46, and 56 new sections), a subdivision in Spenmoor St (57 new sections), a subdivision in the Lower Stebbings SHA (215 new sections) and Erskine College subdivision (85 new sections).