Is Auckland entering a construction boom?

Housing Market Written by Squirrel , Sep 7 2016

With the new Auckland Unitary Plan now officially passed, people predict that the City of Sails will see a huge increase in construction activity over the next 25 years - and we may already be seeing the effects, according to new data.

A successful drive

Construction work is a bureaucratic process, and sometimes the paperwork can get in the way of developing a new home. That becomes a serious problem in a place like Auckland, where demand continues to outstrip supply. The initial attempt to mitigate this issue was the Special Housing Areas (SHAs) developed by the government and the Auckland Council, and is still seeing success.

"In Auckland, our greatest area of housing need, consents were issued for 1,087 dwellings in July up 18 per cent on June while the 9,622 issued for the year to July was 12 per cent higher than the previous year," explained Housing Minister Nick Smith.

However, the SHAs are small fries in comparison to the sweeping changes now ratified by the acceptance of the Auckland Unitary Plan, which opens up room for more than 400,000 homes to be constructed by 2041. This long-term plan is good news for anyone who is struggling to find a home, as it could be the answer to the constant question of how New Zealand will keep up with an ever-increasing population and its housing needs.

"Now we have the plan, a single blueprint for the future development Auckland, we can grow and shape our incredible city in decades to come," said Deputy Mayor of Auckland Penny Hulse.

Current efforts

It isn't just consents that are on the rise either. According to Statistics New Zealand, Auckland is leading the pack by a fair margin in the actual value of building work put in place. That means that new projects are going up right here, right now, indicating that there could be a lot more choice for anybody looking to buy a home in the City of Sails.

However, there is one caveat to that data: A great deal of this is due to the value of non-residential construction, such as commercial and industrial builds, which grew by 22 per cent in the June quarter according to Stats NZ. Despite that, residential property was not exactly lagging behind, growing by 8 per cent over the same period, contributing a significant portion to the total of $1.8 billion worth of building activity in our most populous city.

What does this all mean for Auckland buyers? Expect to see a fair few hard hats and toolboxes over the next few years - as well as a fair number of new homes for sale. Of course, you don't have to wait until 2041 to move into a new home. Get in touch with the team at Squirrel today to find out how we can help you achieve the most suitable mortgage for your needs. You can also read our guide to construction loans.

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