Building boom falls flat as consents tumble

Nick Smith’s much vaunted “building boom” sounds more like a thud as Auckland consent numbers hit the wall, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“Consents for new dwellings, nationwide and seasonally adjusted, have fallen by 11 per cent with the biggest drops in Canterbury and Auckland.

“The Government will be worried Auckland consent numbers are falling at the very time they need to be cranking up. Auckland needs 13,000 new homes each year just to stand still. Only 9622 have been consented in the last year, which means the 42,000 shortfall of dwellings in Auckland built up under National is getting worse by 3378 a year.

“Nick Smith and John Key love to talk about the Auckland building boom, and regularly measure success by comparing today’s build rate with the depths of the Global Financial Crisis when demand collapsed and building ground to a halt.

“The sad reality is that Auckland’s shortfall of dwellings is getting worse by the day, and government officials predict it won’t be eliminated until 2030.

“Auckland’s build rate is now lower than it was in 2004, and lower than what was being built in the mid-1970s.

”Auckland is currently building 6.1 dwellings a year per 1000 population. In 2004 it was building 9.8, a decline of 37 per cent.

“No amount of blather about a building boom can disguise the fact National has overseen a massive shortage of housing that is driving prices up and making speculators rich.

“Instead of hoping and praying the market will fix itself, it is time the Government swallowed its pride and adopted Labour’s KiwiBuild promise of building 100,000 affordable homes for first home buyers,” Phil Twyford says.