We’re building fewer houses than a decade ago? Why is this?

New figures show fewer houses are being built than a decade ago, despite recent increases.

The Statistics New Zealand figures come as concerns mount over a continuing shortage of homes making housing unaffordable for many people.

The statistics cover both residential and non-residential building, and show there was $15 billion worth of construction in 2014, $2.8 billion more than in 2013.

Nearly two thirds of that was in Auckland and Canterbury.

When broken down further, the figures show residential construction has risen steadily since 2011, but was still seven percent lower than its peak in 2004.


We’ve had lots of people with money immigrating to New Zealand over that time who have entered the market. ?The demand is there, but somehow we are still building less than we were a decade ago. ?We’re building less because…

…because councils are artificially restricting the freeing up of land for development. ? There are enough builders, there are enough people wanting houses, and there is enough money sloshing around. ?Yet new houses can’t get started at a good rate.

Is this by design? ?Is the RMA act holding us back? ?Is it councils tying everyone up in red tape?

It’s all three.

RMA reform is critical to our economy as its stranglehold is suffocating us. ?Councils are so concerned about controlling the explosion of housing beyond their ability to cope, as well as “green” reasons, that vast tracts of lands are available that councils refuse to designate as residential.

And that’s not even talking about social housing or affordable housing. ?That’s just the picture of the whole housing market – still not building the same volume as ten years ago, in spite of huge demand, runaway property prices, and enough mortgage money on tap that banks are looking for ways to hand it out.

Something’s got to give, and soon.