Building dip sees Southland buck trend

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 13/02/2013

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Despite a record number of building consents approved across New Zealand last year, the number of consents issued in Southland has fallen.

Nationally, residential building consents hit a four-year high, with Statistics New Zealand information showing 16,929 consents were approved across the country last year. In contrast, Southland, Gore and Invercargill councils all issued fewer consents in the past year than in 2011.

In 2012, 80 fewer building consents were issued by the Southland District Council than in 2011, continuing a declining regional trend during the past four years.

A report by Southland District Council building control manager Kevin O'Connor says only 1227 consents were approved last year, down from 1307 in 2011 and almost half the 2032 issued in 2008.

January's numbers echoed last year's decline, with approved consents falling from 71 in January 2012 to 55 in January 2013.

The total value of projects in the district also shrank, dropping by 20.26 per cent in the year since July from $51,762730 to $41,273,223.

While the number of building consents issued by the Invercargill City Council was only 22 below the number approved in 2011, the number of consents issued for new residential dwellings in the city dropped from 111 to 69. In January, only 61 consents were issued by the ICC, compared with 72 in January 2012.

Fewer residential alterations and building amendments last month contributed to the drop.

The number of building consents approved by Gore District Council remained relatively steady last year, with only one less issued in 2012 than in 2011, and consents for 11 more new dwellings were approved in 2012 than in 2011.

However, project values of consents in the district declined by $4,434,291 last year, falling from $26,809,436 in 2011 to $22,375,145 in 2012.

This trend was repeated in January, when 13 consents were approved, equalling the number issued in January 2012, but the combined value was $634,474 less than in 2011.

Further north, Queenstown Lakes district fared better, with more building consents issued in Arrowtown, Wakatipu, and Wanaka than this time last year.

Only Queenstown recorded fewer building consents last month than in January 2012, dipping from 24 consents in January 2012 to 23 in 2013.

Since July 2012, the Queenstown Lakes District Council has issued 604 building consents across the region, compared with 586 in January 2012.

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- The Southland Times

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