The building boom continues in Ashburton, but is tipped to slow down around March next year.
Ashburton District Council building services manager Michael Wong said things are “still on the up” in the district, while nationally there are signs of a major slowdown.
After a second-straight record year of new builds, Ashburton continues to receive high numbers of new house consents per month, group manager compliance and development Jane Donaldson said.
The council is averaging 24 new house consents received per month this financial year (2022/23), she said, compared with 23.5 per month in 2021/22, and 19 per month in 2020/21.
“This is high in comparison to pre-Covid times since 2014 when we averaged just 10 new house consents received per month,” Donaldson said.
The Ashburton District generally goes through consent trends around three months after neighbouring districts, Donaldson said.
“With neighbouring districts indicating signs of a slowdown in consents, it’s possible this may start to show in our figures around March next year.”
Stats NZ reported 3568 new home consents being issued nationally in October, down 12 per cent compared to October 2021, while Ashburton had 64 new consents issued, slightly down (8%) on the 69 in October last year but overall numbers remained high.
“The numbers are still going up so we seem to be bucking the trend that the nationwide situation is showing,” Wong said.
“The builders and designers are still saying they are busy, and we still have people coming through the doors making enquiries.”
The number of building consents issued in 2021/22 was 765 in total, which was a record $237,462,951 worth of consents, surpassing the previous year’s $164.4m.
That figure for 2022/23 was at $63,042,536 at the end of October, with 222 new home consents issued compared to 257 at the same stage last year.
Wong estimated the changes to the building code, relating to increased requirements around window insulation, added between $20,000-$30,000 to construction costs which were having an effect.
He said 27 new builds consents were lodged between October 31 and November 1 to try to beat the new rule coming in on November 3.
A further change to the Building Code that will double the roof insulation requirements is also set to come in May next year and Donaldson predicted that there could be another consent surge before the changes come into effect.
- By Jonathan Leask