Canterbury the house-building capital

LIZ MCDONALD AND JAMES WEIR
Last updated 14:03 30/07/2014

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Canterbury has become the house-building capital of New Zealand as the rebuild gathers pace.

Councils consented 623 new homes for the region last month, a jump of more than two-thirds in a year and the most since electronic records began in 1990.

The average value of the homes, not including land, was $325,000.

Canterbury consents for the month exceeded all other regions, including Auckland. 

The figures, from Statistics New Zealand, show 6713 new homes have been approved in Canterbury in the past year, and 16,500 since the earthquakes began in September 2010. 

ASB bank economists said the June consents suggested the Canterbury rebuild was now ''firmly on track'' after a weaker patch earlier in the year.

''This increase follows some signs of softening over April and May and now suggests that house-building demand in Canterbury is bouncing back,'' ASB said.

However, the national trend remains well below levels seen in the house-building boom a decade ago.

Home-building consents across the country perked up in June, rising 3.5 per cent from May, on a seasonally adjusted basis, led by the bounce in Canterbury.

Construction nationwide is expected to be a key pillar of economic growth in the next couple of years. 

Westpac economists said it was not surprising that the rise in consents was driven by the Auckland and Canterbury regions, with both reaching new cycle highs.

However for the year to June, Auckland housing consents totalled about 6800, still below the 9000 estimated to be needed to keep up with population growth in the next couple of years.

Nationally, almost $1.3 billion of building work was consented in June, with $772 million of residential work and $490m of non-residential work.

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- The Press

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