News in brief: Housing supply on the up as construction hits $1 billion per month

by NZ Adviser13 Jan 2016
Housing supply on the up as construction hits $1 billion per month 
Residential building growth has hit an all-time record of a billion dollars of work consented in a month, according to an article on
Responding to Statistics New Zealand building consent data, Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith said the latest figures are very encouraging and show the Government’s policies to grow housing supply are proving successful.  

“The 26,793 consents for new homes in the year to November is the highest in more than a decade, as are the 2831 issued for the month of November,” said Smith. “The national figures are 21 per cent higher than October 2015 and 17 per cent higher than November 2014. 

"I am particularly encouraged by the 966 new home consents in Auckland as it is getting close to the 1000 per month we need to match demand for new housing. It is a 20 per cent increase on the previous month and three times the number consented in November 2008 when National became Government. This data confirms that solid progress is being made in lifting the pace of Auckland’s residential construction.

"We are also starting to get benefits from Housing Accords in other parts of New Zealand. The 328 new home consents in Wellington is highest number since April 2008. The Government welcomes a spreading of housing growth outside Auckland and Christchurch as well as the trend towards more apartment construction.”

Kiwibank to return to Christchurch CBD
Kiwibank will be returning permanently the Christchurch CBD as chief executive Paul Brock announced the bank has signed a lease for a three-storey building to be located in Colombo Street, ready for business in 18months.

Brock said the new building will provide full branch banking services, plus offices for a number of other bank and associated activities including business banking, mortgage services and Kiwi Wealth services (KiwiSaver and GMI).

“Kiwibank has always intended moving back into the heart of Christchurch. It was a matter of finding the right building at the right location,” said Brock. “This is a hugely exciting development for the bank, drawing together a wide range of banking and related services into a modern, strategically located building.” 

NZ dollar bounces but global pressures weigh
So far for 2016, the New Zealand dollar bounced from its 4.4 percent fall against the greenback but global pressures on inflation, commodity prices, and investor sentiment are expected to stifle demand for the kiwi, BusinessDesk reports.

The local currency increased to 65.59 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 65.40 cents at 8am and 65.29 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index advanced to 72.27 from 71.94 yesterday. 

"I'm seeing the kiwi in a bearish light for the short term and the medium term," said Westpac’s senior market strategist in Auckland, Imre Speizer. "We've had a day's respite really." 

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