David is the business writer for the Bay of Plenty Times and Rotorua Daily Post.

Bay's building boom helps lead NZ as local economy soars

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Greg Simmonds acting chief executive of Priority One says job prospects are looking pretty healthy and unemployment is down. Photo/file
Greg Simmonds acting chief executive of Priority One says job prospects are looking pretty healthy and unemployment is down. Photo/file

New data from Statistics NZ and Infometrics' quarterly economic monitor show Bay of Plenty house building consents are now ranked second highest nationally, and strong economic growth across all areas of the Tauranga economy.

According to Infometrics figures provided by Priority One, Tauranga's economy has been growing above the national average for 12 consecutive quarters, increasing 4 per cent in the June quarter.

"The key thing is the upturn is broad-based across all indicators of spending and investment," said Greg Simmonds, acting chief executive of Priority One.

"Importantly, it means our job prospects are looking pretty healthy and, correspondingly, unemployment is much lower than nationally. We're continuing to hear from and work with businesses that are looking to relocate or invest here. These are all signs of confidence in the economy."

Primary sector activity is up, with kiwifruit exports on course for a record $2 billion over the coming year.

Priority One noted concerns at the 25 per cent increase in house prices.

However, the market is rapidly responding, with new dwelling consents climbing 48 per cent over the 12 months to June and more than 2,000 new sections planned in Papamoa.

In the year to June 2016, the Bay of Plenty was level with Waikato, on eight consents per 1000, while Canterbury led with 11.

Tasman and Otago recorded seven consents per 1000 and Northland and Auckland six.

"The building consents level reflects the confidence in the Bay of Plenty market, with people choosing to move here," said Mr Simmonds.

It means our job prospects are looking pretty healthy and, correspondingly, unemployment is much lower than nationally.
Greg Simmonds, acting chief executive of Priority One

The latest Statistics NZ data shows the number of new homes consented nationally per capita has doubled over the past five years, though it is still only half the level seen at the peak of the 1970s building boom.

Realty Services chief executive Ross Stanway said the latest figures reflected a continuing upward trend in the market for several months.

"It reflects those major new subdivisions in Papamoa, the Lakes and Omokoroa," he said.

"And particularly in Mount Maunganui, there has been a number of good strategically located older properties that have been bowled, with extremely modern new homes going up."

Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Darrin Walsh said the data confirmed what was being seen in Rotorua.

"I know the residential consents are up, probably not in the same numbers as Tauranga, but for Rotorua it's still an increase and still positive from where we were in previous years.

"I know we're crying out for sections to be released for subdivision, and when we get that, we're going to go into boom mode here because the market's just going crazy," he said.


Top regions for building dwelling consents


Regions that consented the most new homes per 1000 residents in June 2016:
¦Canterbury - 11
¦Bay of Plenty - 8
¦Waikato - 8
¦Tasman - 7
¦Otago - 7
¦Northland - 6
¦Auckland - 6

For more articles from this region, go to

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