More than $50 million worth of building consents were issued in Tauranga last month - the highest since 2007 and a strong sign the city's economy is bouncing back from the recession.
Tauranga City Council signed off on $54.5 million worth of building consents in July this year, the highest figure since November 2007 when $65.6 million of building work was approved. There were six consents issued worth more than $1 million.
Last month's total was also well above the $46.6 million of consents issued in July 2013.
The figures come a week after the Bay of Plenty Times reported the region's GDP was increasing more rapidly than in Auckland and the Waikato.
Priority One chief executive Andrew Coker said the increase in building showed the economy well into recovery.
The average value of consents issued by Tauranga City and Western Bay District councils in the pre-recession period between 2004 and 2007 was $625 million while the average during the recession, between 2008 and 2012, was $424 million per year, Mr Coker said.
"Then take a look at 2013 $513 million and seven months to date in 2014 at $331 million, I think, with due respect to statisticians who might question my approach, it would be fair to think that we are well into recovery from the global financial crisis," he said.
"Included in the consents is work on the TrustPower building in the city centre, and the Academic Colleges Group school in Pyes Pa ..."
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dave Burnett said the figures showed the region was "really starting to punch above its weight outside the main city centres".
Mr Burnett said the commercial consent figures also reflected the increased business confidence he was seeing in the city. "It means it will provide more jobs."
Classic Builders Bay of Plenty/Waikato regional manager Paul Taylor said the industry had picked up noticeably during the last year.
"Our consents are up 25 per cent on this time last year. This time last year we were at 127 consents, this year it's 167."
Mr Taylor said the main area of growth was in homes priced in the low to medium range and attributed that to builders and developers offering competitive deals. The growth in the industry was bringing more people to town as builders looked for more staff, he said.
Classic Builders had increased its staffing numbers by about 30 per cent in the last year to keep up with the influx of work coming through.
• July 2014
Total consents issued: 216 worth $54.5m
Dwelling consents: 88 worth $30.6m
Commercial consents: 21 worth $14.1m
• July 2013
Total consents issued: 208 worth $47.6m
Dwelling consents: 68 worth $24.5m
Commercial consents: 21 worth $12.5m