A shortage of builders means that the rate of house construction is not going to lift much, no matter how much land is freed up, says BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander.
He said the new registration requirements were a hurdle, as was the increasing complexity of certification. “But the biggest problem may be the after-effects of water-tightness problems last decade which have caused a change in legislation such that builders remain personally liable for any problems for a period of 10 years.”
Tradespeople had been lost to Australia, and it would take immigrants to meet demand, he said. But he said many New Zealanders were not keen on that idea.
July’s seasonally-adjusted number of dwelling consents fell 0.8% after dropping 4.3%. Over the past year, consent numbers have risen to 19,146 a year from 15,722. Alexander said: “The trend is upward but it is not stellar. At this rate, the average number of consents issues each year for the past decade of 21,737 will be reached early next year.”