Building consent figures continue to defy predicted slowdown

Published: 25 January 2023

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Economists continue to predict a downturn in the housing market, though the number of building consents being processed by the Ashburton District Council remains high.

Council finished the 2022 calendar year with 769 consents received, at a value of $250,437,888, and that included 271 new house consents.

As a comparison:

  • In the 2021 calendar year, Council received 786 consents, including 275 for new house consents, with a value of $200,344,271
  • In the 2020 calendar year, Council received 631 consents, with a value of $173,933,552
  • Pre-covid in 2019, Council received 633 consents, worth $120,602,124.

Strategy and Compliance Group Manager Jane Donaldson said March was the busiest month of 2022, when 35 new house consents were received.

“December was the quietest with only 12 new house consents, so the average was roughly 22 new house consents per month.

“In the first 18 days of 2023, we received 16 new house consents and there are currently no signs of things slowing down just yet.”

The number of consents dropped slightly in the last six months of the year, though the value of the work remained the same.

Ms Donaldson said the number of amendments had risen significantly, and was up 57 per cent.

“Amendments are changes to a building consent that has been issued, but that we have to reassess for compliance. We can see this relating to supply chain issues in the building industry, where builders are using different brands of materials, like plasterboard.

“It will be interesting to see how interest rates and the continuing uncertainty about a recession will affect numbers in the next six months.”

The large number of building consents had been putting pressure on Council staff to meet processing timeframes, but a big push over the past couple of months has cleared some of the backlog.

“We should be able to meet the processing target for the rest of the year, though compliance timeframes are affected if there is a delay in answering Council’s request for information,” she said.

Planning staff processed 49 Land Information Memorandums in December, down from 74 in November. The number of resource consents decided in December was 16, up from 15 in November.

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