Tauranga/Western Bay of Plenty building consents hit new highs

By David Porter

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Tauranga consents included 11 dwellings at Vision Papamoa Retirement Village ($2.2 million). Photo/File
Tauranga consents included 11 dwellings at Vision Papamoa Retirement Village ($2.2 million). Photo/File

This year looks set to top the record set in 2015 for building consent values. For the 10 months to October, both Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council issued the highest value of consents for comparable periods since 2003, according to data released by Priority One.

Tauranga City Council recorded $646m in consents issued for year to October, 16 per cent more than the previous high in 2015. Western Bay had issued $236m in consents so far, 75 per cent more than the previous high in 2015. Consents for the combined sub-region were valued at $882m for the 10-month period, 27 per cent more than the previous 10-month high recorded in 2015.

"If it was only about buildings consents and not other aspects such as job growth, we would be concerned," said Priority One spokeswoman Annie Hill, who analyses the consent data.

"But we've also got very strong job growth so that means it's at a more sustainable level.

It means we're an increasingly popular place for people to live and work, and for businesses to base themselves."

The October monthly totals were also high, with Tauranga City Council issuing a total of $85.6m in consents, the third-highest value for monthly consents issued since 2003. That was well ahead of last month's $58.9m, and the $72.8m in consents issued in October 2015.

Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless said it was great the economy was doing well and people had confidence in the area.

"Hopefully it will lead to more and better jobs for people living here. It also reinforces that we have to get on top of our infrastructure and roading to keep up with all that."

Of last month's consents, $54.6m were for new residential builds, the second-highest monthly total for this category since 2003. The number of single-dwelling consents was 127, an increase on last month's 113, but fewer than the 136 consents issued in October 2015.

Ross Stanway, chief executive of Realty Services, said there were two aspects to the residential consents: the new builds and the number of homes in certain areas that had been "bought and bowled" with new houses going up.

Mr Stanway said the high level of consents also suggested the supply side was still healthy, and that would tend to put a dampener on the rate of price increases.

"The saving grace in our region is the growth that can occur in new builds," he said.

"What is noticeable in the market right now is that, whereas six months ago some buyers were prepared to pay anything at all to get the property they wanted, that's changed. Buyers have hardened up. That's not a bad thing. I don't think we want to become a mini Auckland."

Tauranga's October commercial consents were valued at $17m, nearly twice last month's $8.7m and well ahead of the $10.4m issued in October 2015.

Duncan Woodhouse, of Colliers International commercial, said Tauranga was experiencing a level of interest from out of town that hadn't been seen in the past.

"And we are still seeing that flight to quality," he said. "People with older office, retail or industrial properties, are wanting something more modern and more efficient. While their business is growing, they're wanting to capitalise on that."

For the Western Bay of Plenty, the total value of October consents was $26.6m, ahead of last month's $22.5m and also an increase on the $18.8m in consents issued in October 2015. The number of consents was 114, less than last month's 125, but an increase on the 100 consents issued in October a year ago.

Single dwelling consents in the Western Bay were valued at $15.8m, slightly less than last month's $16m, but ahead of the $10.6m in consents issued in October 2015. The number of single dwelling consents issued was 44, an increase on last month's 38 and also ahead of the 29 consents issued in October 2015.

Dwayne Roper, director of developer Zariba Holdings, said sales from the company's residential developments were going strongly and it would be putting through new consents early next year.

"Looking at the latest Priority One data, it's exciting times to have that number of consents in the market. It's a lot more work [being done] and it means we will need a lot of people to do that work."

Western Bay commercial consents were valued at $6.3m, ahead of last month's $1.3m, and also more than the $2.4m in consents issued in October a year ago.

[Factbox]
Tauranga consents included:

An office block at 17th Ave ($1m); six new dwellings at Pacific Coast Retirement Village ($1.3m); four workshops and four first-floor dwellings at 80 Market Place, Papamoa ($1.5m); 11 dwellings at Vision Papamoa Retirement Village ($2.2m); and the foundations for stage one of a community centre at Pacific Coast Retirement Village ($4m).

Western Bay of Plenty consents included:

A new coolstore for Eastpack at Washer Rd ($1.2m); and two consents for coolstores for Seeka at Maketu Rd and Young Road ($1.5m; $2m).

[Sidebar]
One of the October transactions is a $1m consent for CBC Construction, which is planning to build an identical 685sq m office block adjoining its new head office on 17th Avenue.

Classic Group relocated to the 17th Avenue Business Park and CBC Construction built its new head office. The project used insulated panelling to reduce build time and the $1.25m build took four months from earthworks to completion.

The new build will be at 190 17th Avenue, and is within the business park area and behind the new head office, said CBC managing director Drew Beekie.

"We're just about to start construction and expect to be completed by the end of February," he said.

"It's exactly the same as what we've built for ourselves."

Mr Beekie said half of the proposed building had already been leased.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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