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Building industry not surprised fewer consents authorised

Building consents are continuing a steady downward slide, new research from Statistics New Zealand shows, and those in the industry expect it to get worse before it gets better.

Ninety-eight per cent of the building industry executives surveyed by eBoss in February 2009 say they think the industry hasn't seen its darkest days yet and two thirds recommend caution over the next six months.

Statistics released today show that 1059 housing units were granted consent during February 2009 compared with 1874 in February 2008.

42% of those surveyed in the building industry say that the decline is as expected. 25% say they have been taken by surprise at the speed of the downturn.

Statistics New Zealand government statistician Geoff Bascand says that in February 2009, the value of residential consents issued was below the value of non-residential buildings. “This also occurred in January 2009 and before that in June 1998.”

The $358 million value of February 2009 residential consents is 42 percent below the February 2008 $615 million value.

“The trend indicates that the value has fallen more than 40 percent since the peak in June 2007,” says Mr Bascand.

A fast industry turnaround is expected by hopeful insiders – 90% of those surveyed believe that the industry will have recovered by 2011.

So far, the seasonally adjusted number of residential buildings consented excluding apartments has only risen a modest 0.3%.

The value of non-residential buildings has risen $241 million to a total of $4,592 million for the year to February 2009, up 5.5% from February 2008.

Residential building has taken a hit in value over the past year. $268 million of residential building was consented in February 2009 compared with $502 in February 2009.

More by Jazial Crossley

Comments and questions
5

Im doing my bit and building a house. I can see why people are not bothering, you are seen as a cash cow by everyone. Gst, council fees, contractors, building firms everyone looking to make a buck takes a shot. Then you have the uncertainty of RBNZ. Thought at least I would have a cheap mortgage.........not any more!

In November 2006 I instructed my architect to draw up plans for 2 minor additions. 1st, an increase of 28 sq M on the 2nd story so with no increase in "site coverage" so no problem? Well it took a year to sort out all the "new" boxes that needed ticking.
2nd, a small canopy to protect the entry from the west that required about 12 sq M of concrete (impermeable) BUT we were up to the arbitrary limit so that required a "Building Consent" (at TWICE the cost of the bloody concreting) and the consent of neighbours (WHY???) Then "Tech Drawings" This is where ACC "advisors" became involved and started "looking" for problems to justify their snout being in the trough. They had no problem with the canopy, BUT they could find all sorts of (minor) "difficulties" well outside of their reference. Like trying to redesign the turning circle for vehicles, and vague references to the already approved (and completed) upper story as - now somehow - it contravened the (new) height to boundary ratios. If the original upper story (built ~ 1960) contravened the latest code. WHO BLOODY CARES NOW. Nobody has ever complained. And to cap it off this contravention was only a couple of cm!!!
Now I'm required to concrete about a 70 sq M area to suit their 'turning circle' crap, adding further to the impermeable area on the site.
Is it any wonder the "consents" are reducing.

anon ,ya shoulda just done the job on the sly as maintenance and stuff the stupidity of council.

That is a frankly terrible story anon and gives good reason for planning reform. It seems ludicrous in the extreme that people should be able to build shoddy apartments that are neither good for the inhabitants nor the environment yet at the same time someone should be forced to concrete their own yard, so they can turn their own car around. I mean surely it is ones own decision if one wants to risk churning up ones lawn if one turns ones car around in the rain!?!
I would respectfully point out Ben that it is not the job of the RBNZ to ensure people have access to cheap mortgages, nor should it be. The banks job is to maintain price stability. We should be very wary, of any government intervention in housing markets the subsidising of housing loans by Freddie mac and Fannie may played a large part in the problems that the US is facing now. At the end of the day a home is somewhere to live and while I readily accept everyone has a right to shelter, only people who can afford it have a right to own a house.

I agee with last comment,summed up nicely in the last sentence:EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT TO SHELTER,ONLY PEOPLE WHO CAN AFFORD IT HAVE A RIGHT TO OWN A HOUSE....well said.
Get govt out of our lives.