Lack of land blamed for work drop-off


A lack of available land is restricting new building projects in Rotorua, a local builder says.

Statistics New Zealand figures show six consents for new buildings were issued in Rotorua last November, compared with four in 2011.

New building consents were worth $266 million to the Bay of Plenty economy in the 12 months to November 30, 2012, including $30 million in November alone.

Urbo Homes Rotorua partner Jeremy Maling said while the past 12 months were better than 2011, things still weren't great.

"It's still tight out there."

Mr Maling said things were expected to be much the same this year. "It's going to be ok, but nothing like what we've seen [in previous years]."

Alteration work had become more popular in recent years and was making up more of his workload than it used to, he said.

One of the biggest challenges to creating new building projects in Rotorua was the lack of land available, Mr Maling said.

More than 1500 new residential buildings were consented nationally during November, worth $524 million.

Statistics New Zealand industry and labour spokesman Blair Cardno said since the most recent low point in March 2011, growth in newly consented houses had risen steadily - continuing a 20-month trend.

"Excluding apartments, the trend for new houses is up by 41 per cent since March 2011."

Canterbury led the November increase - with 171 more newly consented houses than a year ago. Earthquake-related building consents in Canterbury totalled $59 million for the month.

Otago was the next biggest region - with 49 more new houses consented than in 2011.

The seasonally adjusted number of new houses (excluding apartments) increased 4.6 per cent nationwide in November 2012.

Thirty-nine apartments were consented during the month - all retirement village units.

Apartment numbers varied widely month to month, Mr Cardno said.

The value of all building consents last November was $1.05 billion, up 15 per cent year-on-year.

New buildings contributed $524 million (83 per cent) to the total residential building value, the remaining $109 million (17 per cent) came from alterations, additions, and other residential work.

Home improvements spurred by building reality shows and New Year's resolutions rocketed in the first week of 2013, according to online trades staff database Builderscrack.co.nz.

The company credited hit TV shows such as the The Block with inspiring people to turn their renovation resolutions into reality - backed up by a record number of jobs posted by property owners looking for trades staff in the first week of January.

Builderscrack spokesman Keith Roberts said 47 per cent more jobs had been posted on the site by Auckland homeowners and listings nationally were up 30 per cent year-on-year.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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