Drop in consents for new homes

Phil Twyford Photoshopped image Credit: Pixy

Kiwibuild, the government’s flagship home building policy, is now well underway. The government has promised to have bought built 1000 new homes by July 2019. Admitting to a slow start, they are really humming along now. 33 homes have been completed so far, and 77 more are under construction… with 170 days to go to their first target date of July 1st.

Hmmm. That is 900 homes to be built in 170 days. I don’t think this is going at all well.

They didn’t exactly get off to a flying start either. They campaigned on this policy extensively during the election campaign, so you might be forgiven for thinking that they had the entire plan written, costed and ready to go. Clearly, that was not the case. It took approximately nine months for them to unveil their plan in the first place, so their ‘first year’ is technically their second.

Still, I guess they could ramp up production in the second year and catch up with the projected numbers, couldn’t they? Well, yes, they could… but it seems that this is not going well either. Not if the number of consents for new housing is anything to go by. quote.

The number of new homes consented in November dipped following a rise in October.

Stats NZ figures show building consents for the month dropped a seasonally adjusted 2 percent compared to the month before.
The drop erases the 1.4 percent of gains made in October, and then some.
Looking at national trends, close to 33,000 homes were consented in the year to November 2018, up 5.3 percent on the previous year. end quote.

Okay, so the number of consents is higher overall. But, as Kiwibuild had a slow start, I would expect the number of consents to be increasing monthly, as the government seeks to catch up with its promised number of new houses via Kiwibuild. I mean, they have been in power for 15 months now. That’s plenty of time to get their act together. quote.

Consents numbers in Auckland for the preceding 12 months slipped back from October’s record highs, to just below 13,000.

Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens said volatility in the numbers was not something to be concerned about.
“It’s very much concentrated in the multiple dwelling so things like apartments and townhouse and concentrated in Auckland. Look these can be quite lumpy and volatile month to month.” end quote.

People don’t want to live in apartments though, and families especially find it very difficult. Wasn’t Kiwibuild all about families who were ‘locked out’ of the housing market?

Apartments are fine for single people or childless couples, but once children come along, most people want to live in a house. quote.

However, stand-alone houses still account for nearly two-thirds of new homes consented over the year.

  RNZ end quote.

Yeah. Kiwibuild promised people houses. Not apartments. It promised 10,000 houses a year for 10 years. Kiwibuild hasn’t even built a hundred houses yet, after 15 months of government. It is a shambles of the first order.

If Kiwibuild were going to complete anything like the number of houses it promised, consent numbers would be through the roof by now. After all, not all of those consents will be for Kiwibuild houses, so Kiwibuild housing consents should be pushing the numbers up, not down. The fact that the number of consents is falling tells you all you need to know. The government’s flagship policy is a wreck. Phil Twyford is out of his depth and has no clue what he is doing. The housing crisis will not be solved by Kiwibuild. If it were easy to fix the housing crisis, the previous government would have done it. Twyford has egg all over his face. This should be a surprise to no one, except Twyford himself.

Meme credit: Technomage