Archive | Land use

Plan change 62 deadline passes

Commissioner wanted formula established before he left

Rodney District commissioner Grant Kirby’s departing threat to developers over plan 62 proved a hollow one.

Mr Kirby resolved at his last commission meeting before handing back the reins on the district to councillors, on 28 March, that he would give the parties to the plan change 62 dispute until 5pm on Friday 6 April to finalise a consent order or the council would take the dispute back to the Environment Court.

The other parties, naturally, didn’t oblige and Mr Kirby duly handed over to the incoming council on Wednesday 11 April.

The council’s new group manager, environmental services, Geoff Mears, said the council would either get a signed agreement or seek mediation — not as hard a line as his former boss’s — but first needed to see where the new councillors wanted to go on the matter, which has been on the council agenda for six years.

One agenda it’s not on, however, is the new council’s first meeting agenda set down for Friday 20 April.

Plan change 62, a formula for charging costs of development, has been before a court-appointed mediator for some months, and Mr Mears said there was no guarantee the court would accept it back in the courtroom instead of continuing to be sorted out in the mediation process.Kirby puts deadline on talks

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Government introduces RMA implementation package

Limited notification to be allowed

Environment Minister Marian Hobbs announced moves to improve implementation of the Resource Management Act & reduce compliance costs, as part of the Government’s business compliance cost response package.

Cabinet has approved the package. Final funding will be determined during the budget round.

Ms Hobbs said RMA projects with a high priority were:

Development of a voluntary accreditation system & training programme for councillors undertaking RMA functions

Development of guidance for working with Maori on resource management issues, including the establishment of iwi contacts databases, guidelines on charging & timelines

A quality assurance programme for best practice in resource consent processing & plan development within local authorities.More changes to bill

Ms Hobbs said there will be further changes to the Resource Management Amendment Bill currently before the House.

These would:

Remove proposed appeal rights to the Environment Court on notification as it could overload that court. Appeals will remain in the High Court.

Permit limited notification of resource consent applications for activities with minor effects. Of the 2500 notified consents/year, many were notified only because of potential effects on neighbours. Ms Hobbs said councils would be less inclined not to notify applications if the limited-notification option was available.Ms Hobbs said she wanted to strike a balance between reducing compliance costs and maintaining good environmental protection & meeting the needs of communities.

“Councils’ RMA performance has improved steadily over recent years, but we believe introducing several new measures will assist them further. In saying that, these changes do not absolve business of responsibility. It’s a two-way street and business must do its part to ensure that a good outcome is achieved.

“Delays cost everyone both in time and money and the additional measures will be welcomed by environmentalists & developers alike.”

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Bayfair wins Property Council’s supreme award

Ignite’s Whelan has 2 successive winners

Tower Property Funds’ refurbished Bayfair shopping centre at Mt Maunganui came through an Auckland-dominated list of nominees to take the Rider Hunt supreme award at the Property Council’s awards dinner on Friday night.

It was another feather in the cap for Jeremy Whelan of architecture firm Ignite Ltd, who scored excellence awards in 2 categories this year after taking the supreme award with Chancery last year.

Greg Whitten, of Tower, wryly remarked in accepting Bayfair’s excellence award in the retail category that “Tower doesn’t win many prizes these days.”

He added that “it’s Tower’s investors who are the winners – there are about 60,000 investors in Bayfair.” And to those investors, Mr Whitten commented: “Thanks for sticking with property when a lot of other investors were disappearing into international equities.” Very wry indeed, as retail property has proved to be the most sought-after investment category in property, itself the most sought-after investment category as investors have fled the troubled equities markets of the world.

The mall revamp was completed in 2001, giving Bayfair 32,200m² of net lettable area (mall gross area 37,000m², plus parking). Construction was by Multiplex Constructions NZ Ltd, engineering by Holmes Consulting Group Ltd (structural) and Beca Carter (electrical & mechanical).

Homezone Mt Maunganui, a bulk retail centre designed to complement Bayfair, won a merit award in the retail category. Homezone stage 2 on the North Shore’s Constellation Drive was also an entrant.

The Mt Maunganui Homezone was developed by Quadrant Holdings Ltd (part of the Quadrant Properties group of Barry Wither & David Levene), owned by Quadmount, built by Metro Commercial Ltd, designed by Tse Group and Leffler Simes, with Tony Day (Day Consultants Ltd) as engineer. It has a gross floor area of 10,412m² and was completed last December.

Quadrant Properties was project manager for the North Shore Homezone and another Quadrant company, Viller Holdings Ltd, was developer. Builder was Canam Construction Ltd, architect Hume Architects, and Day Consultants again the engineer.

Office category

Mr Wither was up on stage again in the commercial office category, with a merit award for stage 2 of Maxxium House, across Shea Tce from North Shore Hospital. Quadrant Properties developed the 5-storey building for Wake Investments Ltd, it was built by Keystone Construction Ltd with architects Paul Francis of Francis Co Architects, and engineer Tony Day. The building has a net lettable area of 2414m² on a gross 4959m².An air rights platform sold to the adjoining owner enabled both parties to gain from the contour.

AMP NZ Office Trust executive manager Rob Lang was modest about the PricewaterhouseCoopers Tower, which won the excellence award in the commercial office category, after MC Mike Wilson said it dominated the Auckland waterfront.

“It does, of course, dominate the waterfront in a very sympathetic way,” Mr Lang said. He acknowledged the campaign opposing the tower, led at first by Andrew Krukziener through his involvement with 1 Queen St, and the non-notified hearing of its consent application: “Our plans for the project from the outset caused some ire and a little irritation. But a little irritation can cause a pearl.” For this, said Mr Wilson, “The Andrew Krukziener award is in the mail.”

The tower sits on a 4730m² Quay St site, has 53,112m² of gross floor area, including parking, 31,325m² office net lettable area, and was built by Fletcher Construction Ltd with Stephenson & Turner NZ Ltd as architect, Murray Jacobs Ltd as structural engineer.

McDonald’s head office, beside the Wellington St onramp to the Northern Motorway, scored a merit award in the commercial office category. The building has 3 office levels, 6500m² gross floor which includes a test kitchen, and was built by Mainzeal Property & Construction Ltd with project managers Landplan Property Group, architects ASC and engineers Lewis & Williamson.

Multi-unit residential

In the multi-unit residential category, Waterloo on the Quay (shed 2, on Waterloo Quay in Wellington) won an excellence award. It was developed by Newcrest Holdings Ltd (Tim Dromgool & Allan Fraser), with architects Athfield Architects Ltd and engineers Dunning Thornton Ltd and Michael Stretton (services). The 43 apartments have a gross floor area of 7559m², created in a 1910 brick woolstore.

Industrial

In the industrial category, the Hellman Worldwide Logistics centre on Amelia Earhart Ave, Airport Oaks, won an excellence award. It has 1700m² of office & 6350m² of warehouse and was completed at the end of 2001. Developer was Broadway Developments Ltd (Neil Hamill, Dave Hughes & Lindsay Kennedy), architect Simon Williams (Williams Architects), engineer Bob McGuigan (McGuigan & Symes) and owner is the St Johns College Trust Board, which used its own management company, Trust Investments Management Ltd.

Tourism & leisure

In the tourism & leisure category, there were 2 excellence awards, for the Riverside Entertainment Centre in Hamilton and Courtenay Central in Wellington.

The 19,000m² Riverside centre, between Victoria St & the Waikato River in the centre of Hamilton, is owned & was developed by Riverside Casino Construction Ltd, Perry Developments Ltd and the Tainui Maori Trust Board, with Arrow International Ltd as project manager, Mainzeal Property & Construction Ltd as builder and Meritec Ltd as architect.

Courtenay Central is a 2 storey-plus-mezzanine entertainment/retail centre built on the long vacant Courtenay Place site where Chase Corp got as far as demolition for a late-80s project. It has a multiplex cinema operated by the Reading group of the US, which was the developer and is owner of the whole complex, including its 30 retail tenancies. Greenstone Group Ltd was development & project manager, Fletcher Construction Ltd was builder, Ignite Ltd architect and the engineers were Holmes Consultancy Group (structural) and Meritec Ltd (services).

Education & arts

In the education & arts category, the $45 million Otago University information services building on the corner of Albany & Cumberland Sts, Dunedin, won an excellence award. Completed in 2001, it has a gross floor area of 20,000m². Architects were Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates of New York & Los Angeles and Opus Architecture, and engineers Hadley & Robinson (structural) and Ove Arup (services). The project involved substantial remodelling of the existing university library plus major extensions.

The Otago university building also took out the Energy Wise commercial building award, sponsored by the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority.

Manukau City Council’s 658m² Mangere East library won a merit award in the education & arts category. It was built by Hawkins Construction Ltd with architects Jasmax Ltd and engineer Jacob Consulting Ltd.

Special purpose

In the special purpose category, ASB Bank Ltd’s multi-use centre on Corinthian Drive, Albany — referred to as C:Drive – won an excellence award. The 8740m² building is the gateway to a technology park being developed by Neil Developments Ltd. The building is owned by Dominion Funds Ltd syndicates, was built by Mainzeal Property & Construction Ltd with architects Jasmax Ltd and Australian firm Bligh Voller Nield, and engineers Jacob Consulting (structural) and Lincolne Scott Ltd (services).

Dominion Funds director Richard Lynch said the building, completed in October 2001, had won 12 awards. “It’s the 1st building I’ve ever bought for Dominion where the valuer said it would continue to rise in value – and coming from Iain Gribble [now at new firm Gribble Churton Taylor Ltd] that’s amazing,” he said.

The Eastwood Orthopaedic Centre on St Marks Rd, Remuera, won a merit award. It was developed by the owner, the Eastwood Orthopaedic Group, with design by Common Ground Urban Design & Architecture and Harris Consulting as engineer.

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February dwelling consents stay down

Low level needed to get balance into market

Residential building consents issued in February continued at a low level, commensurate with a net population outflow.

However, the average construction cost on consents remains firm and the average size of new dwelling in the year to February 2001 is well above the averages of the previous two years.

Apartment construction was at a very low level in January and remained there in February.

The 1397 new dwelling building consents issued in February compared to 1335 in January, 1620 in February last year (in the slowdown from the 1999 boom) and 1776 in February 1999, immediately before the consent level picked up to 2000-plus for nine consecutive months.

1999 boom was cheaper and tighter

That 1999 boom was, on average, cheaper and tighter construction — $827/m² average for the year, compared to $839/m² the previous year and $835/m² in the year to February 2001. The average dwelling size in the year to February 1999 was 159m², rising to 164m² in the boom year and to 175m² in the latest year.

February 2001 construction is smaller and cheaper than in consents the previous month — $846/m² falling to $831/m², and 184m² average dwelling falling to 178m².

The annual consent total to February 2001 is the lightest figure in five years at 19,602, not surprising after the 26,198 of the previous year.

I’ve assumed for many years that an annual consent level around 21-22,000 appears to maintain an equilibrium between the pressures of cost, materials and skill availability, investment and rental levels, but that view was based on moderate population growth.

Auckland continues to have that, but the country doesn’t. The net outflow of permanent inhabitants in the year to February 2001 was 13,210. The average number of new dwelling consents issued over the past five February years was 22,867, so even at 19,602 the latest year’s tally may still be too high.

Apartment construction, on the other hand, has fallen away, as it should with liquidation besetting that part of the industry. The number of apartment consents in January was 70, worth $8.4 million, and in February it was 76 at $7.5 million — half the level of December and a fraction of the level in 1999, when 4000 apartment consents were issued at an average 333/month.

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Warren back at ARC helm

Harland secures new transport role, Bull heads policy

Phil Warren was re-elected chairman for his fourth term and former television newsreader Philip Sherry (North Shore) was elected as his deputy.

Former Auckland City Council transport committee chairman Catherine Harland has been elected to chair both the passenger transport committee & regional land transport committee on the regional council. She replaces Les Paterson, who didn’t stand for re-election.

Chamber of Commerce director Michael Barnett (Isthmus) is her deputy.

Brian Smith (Rodney) will chair the environment committee with Judith Bassett (Isthmus) as his deputy.

Gwen Bull (Manukau) will chair the strategic policy committee with Dianne Glenn (Franklin) as her deputy.

Bill Burrill (Manukau) will chair the parks & heritage committee with Ian Bradley (North Shore) as deputy.

The three regional councillors without a designated role are Craig Little (Manukau) and the Waitakere pair, Sandra Coney & Paul Walbran.

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Christmas present: new tax

Transport funding involves move toward supercity

5 Government ministers strode into Auckland today to announce a “Christmas present” for the region: an extra tax, and a shift of tax, to help ease transport congestion.

[Parked up for the announcement were, from left: Minister for Auckland Judith Tizard, Auckland mayoral forum chairman & Rodney mayor John Law, ARC chairman Gwen Bull & Prime Minister Helen Clark; and, below, the Prime Minister, Finance Minister Michael Cullen, Transport Minister Paul Swain & Local Government Minister Chris Carter.]

They also announced that infrastructure bonds would probably be coming, tolls would also be coming, local bodies would be able to run borrowing programmes and the structure of Auckland local government would change significantly.

There was no detail on bonds, tolls or borrowing. These have still to be worked out over the next few months.

There was some detail about governance. The proposal is a major step towards a super city under the Auckland Regional Council.

Auckland’s politicians still have to accept the proposals. They will accept Government money, and they may accept Infrastructure Auckland being submerged out of existence in a new holding company. But some, particularly Auckland mayor John Banks and Manukau mayor Sir Barry Curtis, have been fighting for different kinds of super city, where the territorial bodies are fewer but have more power and the regional council is stripped back.

Local politicians I saw wandering about after the dual Eden Park functions – the politicians were addressed, then the media got a turn – seemed happy enough with the offering.

Rodney mayor & mayoral forum chairman John Law said nobody liked tolls, but if that was the only way to get better roads from Orewa into Northland, he believed Rodney people accepted it. He expected Alpurt – the motorway extension north to Puhoi – would be brought forward, starting work at the end of next year. “It has been decided, subject to funding.”

Auckland’s congestion is described as unique in the country, caused largely by the high population growth of recent years & accompanying influx of Japanese import cars.

Returns from the new road tax, however, will be split 35:65 Auckland:rest of the country, and the rest of the country will get its split on a population basis, not according to prioritised need.

That amounts to $72 million/year for Auckland, $135 million/year the rest of the country for 10 years from 2005, plus gst, and presumably with inflation changing the numbers over time.

The handout – “We’ll tax you more, than hand the extra back to your local politicians” – seems based on the principle that, if a problem festers enough for complaints to become loud, a tax to fix it will be readily accepted.

I arrived slightly late for this announcement, coming from a dental appointment, so I understood the principle very well. I also know it’s not a proper basis for carrying out repairs.

Auckland will also get $90 million/year for 10 years (again, from 2005) in a diversion of excise back to transport from the Government’s general coffers.

The additional excise will put 5c/litre plus gst (total 5.625c/litre) on petrol. Smaller diesels (under 5 tonnes) will pay a similar amount through higher road user charges, amounting an RUC hike of about 24%, depending on vehicle size.

The Government put these increases at about $83/year for an average vehicle on petrol, at 30 litres/week, or $6.22 (including gst)/1000km for a 2-tonne diesel.

Finance Minister Michael Cullen said the diversion of excise duty to the Government’s general coffers would be cut from the current 18.475c/litre to 15c/litre.

The Government wants local bodies to respond to its package by the end of January. It will formally sign its financial contribution in its December budget policy statement on 18 December. The governance changes will take effect from July, on the basis of legislation introduced in April, and the excise & RUC changes will take effect in April 2005.

Also: On the road to a supercity

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Regeneration: Kings Cross: Channel tunnel rail link

3rd part in Yates series

Cllr Juliet Yates, who chairs Auckland City Council’s city development committee, presented the committee with 16 pages of notes at its December meeting from her visit to the international waterfront conference held at Canary Wharf in London.

This is the 3rd of 4 parts to her report featured on this website:

This project creates an international transport hub; at the busiest local bus & rail station, and a massive urban regeneration project. The channel tunnel links with Paris will bring more people from Paris, opens up a new port for international markets. Eurostar completion date 2007.

Since the project construction began there has been a change in the area, and in the people (a former red light district). Less deprivation is evident, huge police presence, much work on young people’s health, crime.

Railways lands will be handed over, and a new city quarter redeveloped on the former rail construction site, by 2020. By act of Parliament land is now owned by 2 partners, constructing the tunnel and will get a return eventually from the regeneration project.

LCR and Union Railways, Argent & St George consortium.

Project phase 2 started 1997. Government used a fast-track route. Project mostly in Camden with a small triangle in Islington.

Many heritage buildings, so normally would have needed an outline application on account of heritage. (It is a criminal act to alter a heritage building without a consent.)

Mixed use on ground floors, offices near station, apartments. Government wants a better public realm, so is question of private roads which may need a management company and funding for improvements. It will be quicker to go to Paris than Manchester. So opens up markets, will be a port, 40 million people/year. Kings Cross station is now at capacity.

Other projects. Thames link. A lot of lines terminate, there is no through route through the city, you have to change.

A new concourse and square, (like inside British Museum, roof over reading room.)

Linkages through the site have to be managed so do not attract businesses away from the old streets and leave them derelict. There were blighted areas
Interest in the area, people now see investment coming – honeypot schemes — so get in on the act while it is still cheap.

Council may need to buy some low-density land to make it fit with high density nearby.

(Trains are ¼-mile long, so the international station is huge.)

Designated a creative artists’ quarter.
Regent Quarter, adjacent to Kings Cross.

Developers: P&O.

More than 5 acres, business, shopping, homes and, after Eurostar, 50 acres more.
Former industry and marshalling yards.
Retains Victorian listed buildings.

Developers’ first plan was rejected. Relay cobblestones, new hotel, 278 beds, 10-12 cafes & bars, landscaped walkways, 58,527m² offices & mixed use. Master plan to be built by 2005. Model cost £90,000.
First phase houses sold in 4 hours.
Mix of 1, 2, 3 beds, 138 units.

Planning

Planning is not just land use, but is holistic.

Example : City Road Basin. Importance of public realm, loss of half of a reserve in return for a strip around the basin. Hard to convince the community, since the council has agreed this with the developer.

Also the 2 tall towers will possibly overshadow the area, loss of some open aspect, compare canal in Camden which has a solid wall of buildings each side.

Planning starts with unitary development plans, also supplementary planning guidance. New bill will provide for local development framework. 1 strategic element and separate topics, and will mean more locally based plans.

Holistic planning, is much more than land use.

Landowners do a master plan.

Council has a Conservation & Design Panel, will do guidance on good design but wary of stifling innovative design, some good new buildings.

Policy & projects manager often negotiates benefits. Planning gain, such as training initiatives for long-term unemployed, £50,000.

Note. No 3rd-party rights of appeal, but can get judicial challenges.

Special projects

Arsenal: the well known team has its stadium in Islington. This is old and lacks space around it, lacks parking, and fans cause problems when dispersing, annoys neighbours.

Arsenal plans a new 60,000-seat stadium, which will displace a massive area of employment land, and requires more land than is currently available for redevelopment.

On the balance, it seems the council did not want to loose Arsenal who otherwise would have gone to another borough. The prospect of the impact of this loss outweighs the loss of small businesses, and Arsenal has produced an analysis of its proposal, which shows there will be some jobs created. Arsenal has, through an indemnity agreement, funded a team of planners for the project at council.

City Road Basin project: around a canal which has no public access at present, wants a walkway around, shifts a boat club, puts in pedestrian overbridge, 2 towers, 35 floors, problem how to sell this to the community. Apartments sold approx £500,000 for 2 bedrooms.

More of Cllr Yates’ notes: Cllr Yates’ notes on waterfront conference

Berlin and

Islington.

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February consent figures mostly positive

Annual consent level nears 28,000

February residential building consent statistics issued this week were mostly positive, though the number of apartment consents was down sharply and the consent level in the Auckland region was 18% lower than a year earlier.

The number of consents issued nationally in February, 1797, was a reasonable figure until a year ago, when an unprecedented boom took off. The February consent level was 3% ahead of February 2002. Betweentimes, 8 months recorded well over 2000 consents, the 1526 apartment consents in October pushed that month’s new housing consents up to a phenomenal 3412, and even January was just 5 short of 2000 consents.

The number of consents issued in a year rushed past 27,000 in December, 22-28% above the 21-22,000 equilibrium until 4 years ago, and will climb over the 28,000 level if more than 2000 consents are issued in March.

The consent total for the February year, 27,769, was 6700 above the previous year’s tally, 8100 above the February 2001 year, 1600 above the boom February 2000 year.

Across the whole new residential market, the cost/home was up in February compared to January, last October (the big apartment month) & last February, the size of home was up in the same batch of comparisons, the cost/m² was down on January & last October but markedly above the previous 2 Februaries.

In the apartment sector, only 54 consents worth $5 million were issued nationally. January was the dead month in 2002, with 67 consents, and February was the dead month in 2001, with 76.

In this sector monthly cost comparisons show considerable volatility. This February was behind the previous 2 ($92,593/unit compared to $113,194 in 2002 & $98,684 in 2001), but $4000 above January, $14,000 above last October and more than $39,000 above the extremely low level in December, $53,277.

The average apartment cost of $82,420 for the February year was $4500 below the level for the previous year.

The cost/new home in February averaged $183,862 — 7.8% higher than in January, 37% higher than last October, 9.4% higher than last February.

The high level of small apartments in some months, such as last October & December, brought the overall average unit cost down and lowered the average overall dwelling size but didn’t necessarily cut the cost in $/m².

The average dwelling cost $134,144 (excluding land cost) in October, the average floor size was 143.02m² and the average cost in $/m² was $937.91. In December, also with a comparatively low average dwelling cost of $150,671 and average floor size of 169.43m², the average cost in $/m² was down at $889.28.

With the number of apartment consents so far down in February, the average dwelling size soared to 199.78m² — 9.2% bigger than the January average, 39.7% bigger than in October, 3.8% bigger than a year earlier.

The cost in $/m², $920.33, was down 1.3% from January, down 1.9% from October, but up 5.4% on February 2002 and up 10.7% on February 2001.

Averaged over the whole year, the national dwelling cost rose 2.5% to $159,728 over the previous year, the average floor size was up 2% to 176.46m² and the average cost in $/m² was up 4.7% to $905.20.

The number of consents issued in the Auckland region in February was 620, down 18.

Aroud the region, North Shore City consents fell 41.3% to 101, Auckland City 51.2%, also to 101, Waitakere City fell 17.7% to 84, Manukau City was up 40.4% to 191, Rodney District was up 17.3% to 95, Papakura District was down 26.7% to 22 and Franklin District was steady on 31.

Among other notable movements, Hamilton was up 111% to 97, Christchurch was up 48.4% to 184, Tauranga was down 19.8% to 81.

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Some quantum leaps in housing statistics

April’s 2206 consents highest since September 1999

In a Budget week and election year, it’s worth looking at a key component of the financial picture, housing.

The latest figures from Statistics NZ show some quantum leaps over the past 3 years — in average size & value of new houses in the April 2002 year, and a less marked rise in cost/m².

Compare the monthly figures of the past 2 years and you find size is up on 2001 but down on 2000, average cost was steady in the previous 2 years and up this time, cost/m² rose 2.8% last April and 5% this time.

But to put that 1-year rise in cost in a different light, the annual rise from 1999 to 2002 was 4.1%.

The April total of new dwelling consents was 2206, 41% higher than a year earlier and 57% above 2 years earlier. That’s easily explained: those 2 years were miserable in the wake of a boom in consent numbers.

In comparisons of April years, the number of consents topped 25,000 in the April 1998 & 2000 years, topped 21,000 in 1999 & 2002, was 19,550 in 2001 — a very volatile picture in terms of straight numbers.

The picture in terms of area, cost & value is far less volatile.

In area, the average new house size in the April 1998 & 1999 years was 159m², rising to 166m² in 2000 & 174m² in 2001. This year it was just under 182m², giving a 14.3% rise in 3 years.

The average house value since 1998 has risen by $5000, $5000, $9000, $12,000 — from $127,700 in 1998 & $132,860 in 1999, to $158,050 now. That’s a 19% rise in 3 years.

The cost of building rose sharply in 1999, from $802.92/m² to $834.56/m², then slipped back to $830.25 before regaining ground to $839.58 in 2001. This year it has hit $868.84 — a 4.1% rise in 3 years, but most of it (3.5%) in the last year.

For the month of April 2002, the average house cost was $153,581, up 5.75% on a year earlier, the average area was up slightly, from 171m² to 172.26m², and the cost/m² was up 5% to $891.58/m².

No trend in apartments

The apartment picture was, as usual, showing no trend. For the month of April, the number of consents rose from 40 in 2000 to 266 in 2001 to 439 in 2002, the average value was $95,000 in 2000 then $66,917 in 2001, rising slightly to $69,476 this year.

Although the value of the April consents was quite low, for the April 2002 year the value averaged just over $90,000, continuing a steady rise over the past 4 years.

The overall value of residential construction, including alterations, additions & outbuildings, was far higher in April than at any time in the past 2 years at $409.2 million, and although the number of new dwelling consents for the year was down 12.3% on 2000 and down 13.1% on 1998, the values of new dwellings $3.466 billion) & total residential buildings ($4.237 billion) were the highest over the 5-year period.

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3000 building consents for month

Annual consent tally tops 30,000

Building consent numbers continued to rise in September, falling just short of 3000 for the month but taking the moving annual total over 30,000 for the 1st time.

If the estimated 12 residential consents from Southland are included (the Southland District Council had a technical breakdown), the monthly figure would rise from 2989 to 3001.

Excluding Southland, both the monthly & annual figures were 23.5% above those for September 2002 & the year to September 2002, to 30,125 for the year.

The average consent value was up 5.4% for the month ($168,150) & 2.8% for the year ($167,485), the average new dwelling area was down 0.2% for the month (171.96m²) & down 3.1% for the year (177.59m²) and the average value/m² was up 5.6% for the month ($977.82).

Not surprisingly, the big rise in consents meant numbers were up in virtually every region – up 42% in Northland to 109, 30% in Auckland to 1351, 64% in the Waikato to 360, 104% in Nelson to 47, 48% in Marlborough to 37, 28% in Canterbury to 394.

However, there were some falls, including a 33% drop in Wellington to 128 and 14% drop in Otago to 109. In Wellington City the fallw as 60% to 42.

Around the Auckland region, North Shore consents were up 9.4% to 116, Auckland City 32.6% to 578, Waitakere 52.3% to 163, Manukau 35.5% to 309, Rodney District 29% to 120, Franklin District 34% to 59. Papakura went against the trend with a 48.5% fall to 17.

647 consents for apartments were issued in September at an average $104,173 – well below the average value in August ($149,045), just above the average in July ($97,802), and well above the averages in September 2002 ($86,804) and October 2002 ($78,440; the month when 1526 apartment consents were issued, on average for smaller & cheaper units).

The value of consents for new homes in September totalled $502.6 million, and another $94.5 million of consents were issued by alterations, additions & outbuildings.

Consents for new homes for the year totalled $5.045 billion, up from $3.98 billion the previous year, and total residential consents for the year totalled $5.99 billion.

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