Consents rise points to boom in building

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 01/12/2012

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Timaru's residential building consent numbers are at their highest in nearly four years, according to the latest survey.

Statistics New Zealand's housing and building survey revealed that for the year ending October, there were 183 consents issued for new residential buildings at a value of $50.7 million - the highest number since the October 2007-08 period, which recorded 198 at a value of $51.1m. There were also 14 new consents issued in October this year, twice the number of the same month last year.

Timaru District Council building control manager Grant Hyde said he was not surprised by the jump.

"It certainly checks out with us. There appears to be a lot more activity coming through the door," he said.

"It's hard to know the exact reason. It could be due to banks lending more, or improved economic conditions in the district, or there could be some flow-on effect from people moving here after the Christchurch earthquakes."

Mr Hyde noted that Selwyn District had seen an even bigger increase in residential consents, with 81 new consents in October, compared to 36 for the same month last year.

"The towns of Rolleston and Dunsandel have been particularly affected by people moving from Christchurch post-earthquake. Our team visited the Selwyn council last week to learn what they were doing to deal with the increased consent numbers, and how they are switching to a more electronic-based system," he said.

Earthquake-related building consents for the Canterbury region totalled $52m in October.

However, Canterbury Registered Master Builders Association president Clive Barrington said activity throughout the region had been piecemeal.

"It seems that we're seeing a lot of activity in places where land is freed up, but there is a lack of "clean" and easy-to-do jobs in Christchurch, which is what we really need for the rebuild," he said.

"The numbers say there's been a lot of activity, but I don't know how much builders are really seeing it on the ground level."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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