As I sat down to write this “Development Update” post, the 30th one I’ve done, I realised I didn’t really know what I wanted to write about. So I thought I’d throw it over to you guys, our Greater Auckland readers.
These posts are about development, in the sense of property development and what is happening and where. They link back to the RCG Development Tracker page, which is a sponsored page (the only one) on the Greater Auckland site. That page has an interactive map showing all sorts of things being built or planned, and extra info on apartments and terraces in Auckland.
In the last three years, I’ve written a lot about housing in Auckland, because the housing shortage is a big problem and part of the solution is getting more homes built. I’ve focused on apartments and terraces. These are a great fit for our aims at Greater Auckland: they tend to be close to jobs, study, shopping and good public transport. Long term, they’ll be cheaper to provide than houses on the fringe (and help reduce fuel bills, congestion, and greenhouse gas emissions).
I try and mix it up a bit, and talk about Canterbury (where there’s been heaps of rebuilding since the 2010-11 earthquakes) and things besides housing. Offices, shops, industrial buildings, hotels and schools all get a mention from time to time. Pretty much every type of building there is.
And most importantly, I’m writing for a general audience. People who are interested in “improving the quality of our cities”, especially Auckland, but aren’t really involved with construction or property or any of that other stuff. Sort of YIMBYish.
So let me know… what would you be interested in reading? Want it a little bit less or more technical? Shorter? Less on housing? More references to classic 80s heavy metal songs? More linking back to transport issues? Talking a bit about the actual RCG Development Tracker map and updates, without sounding too marketing-y?
In the meantime, I reckon it’s time for a quick housing update, since I haven’t looked at this for a few months.
Building Consents = New Housing Supply (more or less)
There’s no official measure of how many new homes are built or completed in New Zealand. Stats NZ building consents data give the most reliable info – but that’s showing how many homes are ‘approved’ to be built, not how many are actually finished and ready for people to move in.
Stats NZ are trying to give better info on home completions, and we’ll likely hear more on that in 2018. For now, their early work shows that 97% of building consents do result in finished homes, taking about 10 months on average. Auckland has more of a time lag, so 2018 will probably be the first year we hit 10,000 completed homes, even though we’ve been consenting 10,000 homes a year for the last two years.
Anyway, here’s that consent data for Auckland – divided into different types of home:
And the graph below shows housing consents across different regions:
Greater Christchurch did a pretty good job of rebuilding homes after the quakes. 30,000 homes were consented in the last six years, enough to make up for 8,000 homes lost in the “red zone”, maybe another 5,000-10,000 damaged or destroyed, and leave at least 10,000 to cater for population growth. Consent numbers keep dropping, and Christchurch may well be ‘oversupplied’ with housing… a good problem to have.
Consents in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga have all plateaued. With builders in demand across NZ, I can’t see the consent/ build rate lifting much further in the short term. That’s a pity, because those homes are needed – especially in Auckland!