A drastic lack of stock in housing is the concern for managing director of Lodge Real Estate Jeremy O'Rourke, despite Hamilton City Council boasting of a surge in home construction.

Mr O'Rourke said that while all the planned special housing areas, and KiwiBuild look good on paper, there is a lack of future thinking when it comes to new ways of building houses.

"You are trying to do things like special housing and KiwiBuild when builders are fully engaged, and they haven't really came up with an inventive way of building," Mr O'Rourke said.

"Pretty much all builds at the moment are the traditional way they have been, so builders and developers are building just as many as they can, but no one has actually came up with a faster and better way of getting homes up to the market."

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"Until the number of houses being built catches up with the rapid increase in Hamilton's population, it's hard to see this housing crisis solving itself any time soon."

Hamilton city council's 2018 data shows 1440 new homes were approved within 837 building consents.

The 2018 figure is an increase of 28 per cent on the 1124 homes consented in 2017 and is the highest number of new home consents approved since digital records began in the 1990s.

Mr O'Rourke said there are hundreds of people unable to find the property they are looking for, and the city has been suffocated by a lack of housing stock to buy.
He said said that despite this, Hamiltonians are showing diversity when looking for their new home.

Hamilton city councillor Mark Bunting wants the city to build up, and not out. Photo / File
Hamilton city councillor Mark Bunting wants the city to build up, and not out. Photo / File

"The big change over the past five year would be Hamiltonians' diverse property needs.

"The acceptance of apartment-style living, compared to the acceptance we saw 10 years ago has changed dramatically," he said. "Equally we haven't seen a fall-off in demand in the four-bedroom quarter-acre homes in suburbs like Rototuna. I don't think you're seeing a switch from one to another, you're just seeing different needs from the growing population."

He said it was good to see the developers being more diverse in their builds, a thought shared by Hamilton city council's general manager city growth Jen Baird.

"Our housing environment is changing and it's not practical for every home in Hamilton to be on a quarter-acre section.

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"The mix between higher-density living in apartments and townhouses and larger more traditional homes on a bigger section provide lifestyle choices."

More than half of all consents were for building multiple homes like duplexes, townhouses or apartments on one section.

There was also a significant increase in the number of new retirement units (131) in 2018, now 9 per cent of all new homes.

One city councillor, however, is confused as to why town houses and duplexes are being built on the very outskirts of the city.

Councillor Mark Bunting, who has supported building apartments in the central city, said it was putting a strain on infrastructure.

"It just doesn't seem right, there are going to be more people wanting to drive into town on the roads, more people parking on narrower streets.

"It just makes no sense," Mr Bunting said. "It's a frustrating thing and basically it's just more expensive to build up. I think if you want to build a five-storey building, the price goes up about 50 per cent every time you put a new floor on it."

"If developers can build nice cheap townhouses on the outskirts of course they are going to do that, and I think that is where we are going wrong."