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.