Demand builds in sector

KAT PICKFORD
Last updated 14:15 15/02/2013

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Builders in Marlborough are confident about a revival in the construction sector despite the low value of building consents granted in the region last month.

Marlborough Registered Master Builders' Federation president Ken Anderson said January was usually a quiet month for the building sector, and he expected a turnaround from the muted market of the past five years.

"We're seeing a lot of confidence out there compared to the past few years. Builders are usually still on holiday until the end of January - you'll see things pick up again this month," he said.

The Marlborough District Council granted 53 building consents in January worth a total of $4,566,409. This was down from 83 worth $4,745,146 for the same month last year. Seven new houses valued at $2,536,000 were consented last month. This was down slightly on 10 new houses in January last year, although the total value of the homes was up from $2,187,800.

No commercial jobs were listed in the council data but that was not a true indicator, he said.

"There's a lot going on in the commercial sector, which has been strengthening over the past few months."

He said the residential market was also looking up, with architects busier "but it will be another three months before it flows on to the builders".

Architect and designer Graeme Savage said people were starting to show more interest.

"It was generally pretty quiet last year, particularly in the middle of the year," he said. "It has started to build up again and I think people are feeling reasonably positive at the moment."

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- The Marlborough Express

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