Claims by Opposition parties that building consent figures are not a reliable measure of new home completions have been disproved by a Statistics New Zealand report released today, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“Opposition parties have been running a campaign claiming building consents are an unreliable measure of the number of homes being built. They have claimed the numbers are ‘flummery’, that there is a ‘yawning gap between consents and dwellings completed’, and that building consents inflate the numbers by over 30 per cent.

“Today’s report concludes between 97 and 98 per cent of consents are built and confirms that the average time to completion is 10 months from when a consent is issued.

“This is a repeat of the ‘Chinese-sounding name’ debacle, where the Opposition claimed that over 30 per cent of Auckland homes were being bought by overseas investors. The actual data on tax residency of home buyers showed this figure was just 3 per cent – about the same as the number of sellers – and that there was no significant change.

“The confirmation that building consent figures are a reliable measure of new home completions reinforces the progress the Government’s housing programme is achieving. Our housing policy has successfully grown new home construction for the past six years, from 13,000 to 30,000 a year, in what is the longest and strongest residential construction boom on record.”

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