Canterbury in home-building boom

LIZ MCDONALD
Last updated 16:15 30/01/2014

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More than 13,000 consents for new homes have been approved in Canterbury since the earthquakes first hit.

The number has been boosted with 5762 new homes consented last year as the rebuild ramps up in earnest, according to Statistics New Zealand. The figure jumped 43 per cent from 4037 consents in 2012.

The department's report said Canterbury was the country's frontrunner in home construction, followed by Auckland.

Jennian Homes Canterbury's general manager, Rob Sloan, said tthere had been a ''dramatic'' increase in sales in the past six months, with business rising month-by-month.

''We're now where we expected to be a year ago. It's real now, it's starting''. 

The company was trying to ensure they would have enough sub-contractors for an even busier 2014.

''Everyone will be chasing these guys'', Sloan said.

The Statistics department figures showed the value of non-residential construction was also up last year, with a nine per cent annual jump to more than $1 billion worth of consents in Canterbury during 2013.

Approval has now been given for $7.2b worth of homes and other types of building since the first earthquake in September 2010.

Across the country, the value of construction approved last year rose 20 per cent to over $12b. This was made up of almost $7.9b worth of homes (up 28 per cent) and $4.2b worth of non-residential buildings (up 6.9 per cent).

The Auckland region had the most home consents with 6309, a 38 per cent rise. 

Westpac chief economist Michael Gordon said the construction sector ended 2013 on a high note, with home consents ''much stronger'' than expected in December.

Gordon said Canterbury set a new monthly record for building consents ''by a yawning margin''.

''The Canterbury rebuild continues to dominate the totals, but the re-emergence of the Auckland apartment market is a notable recent trend.''

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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