Record highs in Central building

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ALEXIA.JOHNSTON
@alliedpress.co.nz

Central Otago’s building industry is showing signs of record growth.

For the financial year to date, 244 building consents have been issued, valued at $47.5million.

Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan said that in the same period last year, there were 230 consents, valued at $42.5million.

“Last year was the biggest year on record as well, so it just keeps going.”

From April 1 to June 30, 337 building consents were issued across the district, valued at $50.8million, according to latest Central Otago District Council quarterly figures.

Consents increased by 17.4% but dropped in value by 4.5% when compared with the same period last year.

They included building alterations, foundations, farm sheds and new houses.

“It’s still a very busy and, I would say, an under-pressure department, but they keep working hard to push out that work.” – Mayor Tim Cadogan

A large proportion of the June-quarter increase took place in the Earnscleugh-Manuherikia ward, where 74 consents were issued in the latest quarter, compared with 42 for the same period last year.

Maniototo also experienced growth with 28 consents issued in the quarter, compared with 14 for the same period last year.

A further 144 consents were issued for Cromwell in the quarter, compared with 134 for the same period last year.

Mr Cadogan said the increase had created a busy workload for the council’s planning department, but that pressure had appeared to have “eased up”.

“It’s still a very busy and, I would say, an under-pressure department, but they keep working hard to push out that work.”

Breen Construction director Trevor Breen said the company had experienced a “steady flow” of work in terms of tender.

“That’s really the indicator. It still seems really positive for us.

“Our forward workload is looking solid and there’s plenty of inquiries and that’s probably in all our Central Otago areas – Alexandra, Cromwell and Wanaka.”

He said smaller outlying towns and areas across the district were also doing well.

Central Otago’s increase was a trend being experienced across New Zealand, figures from Statistics NZ show.

Construction statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said, nationally, both residential and non-residential building activity increased in the last quarter, which helped the industry recover from small falls in the March 2018 quarter.

“Quarterly construction activity has been hovering around the same high level for the last two years, with the total volume being higher than at the previous peak in the June 2005 quarter.”

Nationally, building activity rose a seasonally adjusted 1.8% in the June 2018 quarter, compared with the March quarter.