‘Not at crisis point yet but if this trend continues we will be’
The Registered Master Builders Federation is urging the Government and Reserve Bank to reverse the slow-down in the construction industry.
RMBF acting CEO Chris Preston says recent building consent figures released by Statistics New Zealand indicated an emerging crisis for the industry.
“We’re not at crisis point yet but if this trend continues, we will be. Clearly that’s bad for the industry and, therefore, bad for all New Zealanders,” Mr Preston says.
“It’s time for the Government and Reserve Bank to recognise the significant impact high interest rates and low immigration are having on construction, and take action to stimulate the industry back to acceptable levels.”
Lowest monthly value since April 2006
The number of new housing consents authorised in August 2008 was the lowest monthly total in nearly eight years. The value of new building consents was 40% lower than in August 2007, and was the lowest monthly value since April 2006.
“A number of other macro-policy settings are also very important — land availability, regulatory fees and compliance costs are a major drag on the sector and need to be addressed and, while the Government is doing something about this, more is required.”
The number of residential consents authorised for 2008 is tracking far too low to sustain a vibrant and profitable sector, Mr Preston says.
The RMBF is pleased to see that the commercial sector continues to hold steady, but warns that the declining trend in new house construction needs to be addressed now.