20,000 houses for Chch in next five years

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 07:24 30/10/2012

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Christchurch can expect to see a spike of 20,000 new houses built in the next five years, some related to earthquake rebuilding and others to an economic recovery.

That is nearly double the number of houses that would typically be built in five years.

Barring further quakes, builders were looking to 2013 as the first year when the replacement of broken dwellings really ramped up, Registered Master Builders Federation boss Warwick Quinn said. Up to 4000 homes could be built in Christchurch in 2013 and possibly more in the 2014 calendar year, with the amount of commercial building then increasing.

The forecasts come after less than originally expected activity in the Christchurch rebuild in 2012. There were 1267 new dwelling consents in the year to August in Christchurch, according to Statistics New Zealand.

The sector needed certainty so that confidence could be established around investment and recruitment, Quinn said.

"Christchurch city has only recently started to show some signs of life . . . talking to our builders, they feel it is finally arriving," Quinn said.

Building had so far been stronger in Selwyn and Waimakariri districts.

New Zealand had fallen way behind the required build rates of 20,000 homes a year, hit by the global financial downturn that began in 2008, he said.

In 2011, the country had consents for 13,662 new dwellings, the lowest since records began in 1965, down from a peak in 2004 of more than 31,000.

In the first eight months of 2012, there had been 10,731 consents.

Nationally he expected up to 22,000 new houses to be built in 2013, including up to 4000 in Christchurch.

Ahead of the release of new September building consent figures due tomorrow, BNZ economist Doug Steel said residential building consents in the year to September would be about 19 per cent higher than a year ago.

Quinn said Christchurch and Auckland would lead the way in construction.

Infometrics had its own updated forecast of Christchurch's repair, including 12,000 new residential houses, he said.

That work would be worth $2.5 billion.

Recently, the New Zealand construction industry had been building at the rate of 15,000 new homes a year.

In the next five years, the federation expected 20,000 new Christchurch homes to be built, as well as repairs or refurbishment of 100,000 of Christchurch's 180,000 homes.

An average repair cost might be $35,000 but could be as high as $120,000, Quinn said.

Nationally, it expected 20,000 leaky homes to be rebuilt over the next five years and 10,000 new homes to be built in response to a shortage in Auckland.

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Added together, these equated to 45,000 new homes needed nationally each year for the next five years.

THE NUMBERS

New residential buildings for Christchurch city for the year to December:

2003 - 2542

2004 - 2492

2005 - 2095

2006 - 2240

2007 - 2375

2008 - 1282

2009 - 1248

2010 - 1492

2011 - 979

- The Press

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