Hastings' home-building boom is nearing a 10-year high but with builders facing unprecedented demand the industry is looking at how it can keep up.

Latest figures from Statistics New Zealand revealed 65 new dwellings were consented in Hawke's Bay in October - 23 more than the same month last year.

The value of that construction rose $12m on October 2017, to $29m.

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The majority of new houses consented were in Hastings, with 42 consents approved in the city, the largest monthly number there over the past 12 months.


Registered Master Builders Association Hawke's Bay president Scott Taylor said builders were "crazy busy".

"We've got a real opportunity in Hawke's Bay if we can keep the momentum going.

"It's a very, very busy time. We haven't seen these sort of numbers for just about 10 years."

Statistics NZ figures show, for the 12 months to October, 617 consents were granted across all of Hawke's Bay. Only once in the past 10 years (2010) have so many been granted in the comparable 12 month period.

Taylor said the heavy weighting towards Hastings was down to availability of land, combined with a demand for uptake - and there were still more consents going through council processes.

"Myself and my colleague for Certified Builders have met with the council. Obviously, we have some concerns within the industry as to how we are going to cope.

"We need qualified, good-level staff. So, what we're trying to do with the powers that be in Wellington, are breaking down qualifications into smaller sub areas, where we can train people and not take qualified builders off the building site.

"There are lots of things happening in the industry to try to speed things up but there's been a big increase. The things that are affecting the builders out there are not only the consents and where we are going to get the builders from but the commercial sector is also putting pressure on the labour pool."


Previously, the commercial and residential sides of the building industry "flip-flopped" so the labour pool went back and forth depending on which was in demand.

However, at present both sides of the industry were dealing with rising demand, which put one-man band residential builders at a disadvantage.

Taylor also pointed out that with council building inspections taking from five to 10 days, houses would take longer to build.

"So, we're under pressure from all avenues in the game. It's pretty much unprecedented numbers of inquiry and consent numbers for quite a few years.

The Master Builders Association advised that given the combination of factors at play, people needed to be realistic about how long it would take to build new homes.

"Between record numbers of consents in the building industry plus construction industry going really well to, you can't not have some consequences."

Hastings District Council economic development and urban affairs committee chairman Damon Harvey said he was pleased to see the council's efforts to release land for development had helped.

"The council has released land for residential development and this has, in turn, led to increased building activity primarily in the Frimley, Hastings, and the Brookvale area of Havelock North.

"It's pleasing to see that not only has there been an increase in building consents but families are already moving into their new homes.

"The Hawke's Bay economy continues to be strong, we're attracting new residents to Hastings which keeps the real estate market buoyant."