Busy builders face record boom

By Carmen Hall

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HECTIC YEAR: Master Builders Association Tauranga president Johnny Calley said all its members were flat out with work. PHOTO/ANDREW WARNER
HECTIC YEAR: Master Builders Association Tauranga president Johnny Calley said all its members were flat out with work. PHOTO/ANDREW WARNER

Tauranga builders expect consent figures to hit new levels this year following the $678 million 2015 boom - the highest value since records began in 2002 - and the best December at $59.2 million, data shows.

Statistics from the Tauranga City Council reveal it issued 205 residential and commercial consents last month at an estimated value of $59,244,749 compared to $37,246,517 worth in December 2014.

In 2015 it issued 2456 building consents with an estimated value of $678,278,204 compared to $467,631,998 worth in 2014 - a jump of more than 20 per cent - and $329,715,042 in 2002.

Master Builders Association Tauranga president Johnny Calley said all of its members, "are pretty much booked out for the foreseeable future".

It was great news for the city, he said.

"Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty has such a big trade base and has provided a lot of employment that is fuelling our economy. Demand is outweighing supply and developers can't produce sites fast enough."

The future looked positive, he said.

"I am not surprised December was a record month and we expect the first six months of 2016 to be just as big."

Golden Sands sales and marketing manager Mark Day said 912 residential sections had been sold, which included sites at Freedom Villages, since 2013 and it was five years ahead of projections.

The average house and land package was $560,000 to $630,000 compared to $500,000 to $580,000 just 18 months ago.

Chief executive Bill Miller said demand was strong and builders had a lot of forward work to complete.

It was releasing new stages to cope, he said.

Scott Adams of developer Carrus said the firm was seeing an increase of Auckland buyers at The Lakes subdivision as the 30 per cent LVR rules introduced by the Reserve Bank hit the Auckland market.

This year it would release 337 pre-titled lots in three different stages, he said.

In 2015 stages sold out within days and he expected that to happen again because of "the heat in the market".

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec said it was "full steam ahead as we kick off the new year".

The rise in consents would have spinoffs, he said.

"More new businesses, more new houses and more growth for the city, as people see a future for themselves here. It will also put more pressure on roads, schools and services - which is the other side of the coin for a high growth economy."

Priority One project manager Annie Hill said the growth in building consents issued was great for the economy.

"It is a result of the confidence of investors in both in the commercial and residential sectors.

"Tauranga is increasingly being seen as a viable place from which to do business, and this is reflected in the commercial consents issued, not just in December, but throughout the last 12 to 18 months," she said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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