Waipa housing developments could outpace Hamilton

26 July 2017

New resource consents totalling $21.5 million have been processed to help speed up construction of new homes in the Waipa district.

The Waipa District Council has reviewed 125 applications for new builds, alterations and other domestic work.

The recent announcement of Central Government's $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund for Hamilton is expected to put pressure on an already stretched trade force in the Waikato.

But fears of falling land prices and increased building costs due to lack of trades people were dismissed by Property Council's Waikato spokesman Brian Squair.

"Depending on the size of the company, group housing builders are delivering anywhere from 25 to 100 houses per year each. Right now, many of them are at capacity working across the region. Auckland and Tauranga companies are working in Hamilton, with Hamilton companies working in Cambridge and Tauranga."

Squair said it has been the cost of land that has impacted prices more than the labour and materials cost.

"The key variable is timing and while the principle of supply and demand is alive and well and will have influence, the timing of 'developer-ready' land availability may govern the dynamics here."

Council has recently fast tracked the release of some housing land to cope with expected growth in Cambridge and Te Awamutu.

Squair said proposed Hamilton developments shouldn't pose a problem for similar building work in Cambridge. He said Cambridge and Te Awamutu were unique towns, almost destination towns, where people choose to live because of their unique characters.

"Waipa, and specifically Cambridge, has some capacity in that many developers have earmarked development sites already.

"It could be between two and three years before housing on the newly enabled land in Hamilton is commenced," said Squair.

"We suspect that Cambridge may have the jump on Hamilton for building resources due to the timing and readiness."

He said the demand for builders and sub-trades could increase if developments planned for Te Kauwhata move ahead of developments planned in Peacocks Road, south of Hamilton city.

BCITO chief executive Warwick Quinn said the building industry needs 65,000 new people over the next five years to meet growth. Nationwide the Industry Training Organisation has 11,000 apprentices working towards qualification.

Waikato has 1020 people training for an apprenticeship across all of the 15 trade sectors BCITO covers, 750 in carpentry.

- Waikato Times

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