Builders tipping new-year revival

KAT PICKFORD
Last updated 12:00 06/12/2012

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Marlborough builders say the lagging construction sector will pick up in the new year.

Marlborough Registered Master Builders Federation president Ken Anderson said yesterday that despite the low value and number of building consents, he expected the industry to pick up soon.

Commercial work was going well and while residential was lagging, it had started to take off again in the past three months, Mr Anderson said.

He said he had received a noticeable increase in interest from prospective clients, and expected to see a turnaround early in the new year.

"There's certainly room for improvement, but it's been pretty tough all year, so any sign of life is a positive."

Marlborough District Council building consent figures echoed his sentiments, with a slight increase in the value and number of new houses approved last month.

Eighteen new houses valued at $5.1 million were given approval in November, up slightly compared with October when 17 houses valued at $4.9m were consented, and November last year when 17 houses valued at $4.4m were approved.

The council issued 96 new building consents last month, valued at just under $9m, up from October when 70 consents were issued, valued at $7.6m.

The value of last month's consents was down significantly compared with November last year, when 81 consents were issued valued at $14.5m.

Clarke Construction owner Anthony Clarke said the wine industry developments, big-box retailers coming to the region, and seismic strengthening had propped up the commercial sector this year.

However, the commercial consents were down last month with only one commercial job valued at $600,000 approved, compared with three valued at $1.3m a month earlier and four valued at $4.5 in November last year.

Mr Clarke was also positive the construction sector was set to improve, with renewed interest in residential housing.

"In general most builders seem to be reporting positive levels of inquiry," he said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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