23 Nov 2009

Signs home building sector picking up

12:49 pm on 23 November 2009

There are signs the home building sector is experiencing a revival, due to the pressure of higher house prices and stronger population growth.

Westpac economists estimate the construction of new homes' been running at only 14,000 a year, and 25,000 houses per year are needed to accommodate growth.

David Reid Homes general manager Ben Allan says contracts for new homes have doubled in the three months to September compared with the previous quarter.

He says demand is strongest in the metropolitan areas, but interest is also increasing in some holiday destinations such as Queentown, Taupo and the Far North which were hit hard during the downturn.

Registered Master Builders Federation chief executive Warwick Quinn says activity is rising, but higher unemployment and tighter access to credit will see supply lag demand.

He says over the next 12 months it is likely construction of new homes will increase from current levels, but not to the 25000 per year needed to accommodate growth.