29 Jul 2008

Building downturn makes job losses inevitable - federation

8:59 pm on 29 July 2008

A big drop in the number of building consents for houses and apartments means job losses are inevitable, says the Registered Master Builders Federation.

The number of consents fell in June to its lowest monthly level in seven years. According to Statistics New Zealand, the number of permits fell by half to 1362 - a drop of 27% compared with June last year.

Construction numbers have been falling since last year, and the latest figures show the cost to the industry to be more than $230 million.

Federation chief executive Pieter Burghout says the figures are a cause for real concern.

The value of consents issued in June for residential buildings was $455 million - half of the amount a year earlier.

Last week, the Reserve Bank cut the Official Cash Rate for the first time in five years, from 8.25% to 8%.