Around the Associations in 2007 — and what’s in store for 2008?

0
204

Building Today canvassed Registered Master Builders Associations nationwide for their feedback on industry issues over the past year — and what 2008 might have in store for their area.

 

We asked five questions:

1 Has there been an increase or decrease in residential and commercial activity in your region in 2007?

2 What problems, if any, have been experienced with this growth/drop off in activity?

3 Specifically, has there been sufficient construction staff/workers to cope with any increase in activity? If there has been a drop in activity have staff/workers had to be laid off?

4 What were the biggest projects undertaken in your region during 2007? Do you know the value of this/these project(s)?

5 What is the outlook for construction activity in your region going into 2008?

 

Here’s what some of the Associations told us:


ASHBURTON

1
There has been an increase of approximately 10% to 15% in activity.

2
The main problems have been labour/trade-related shortages, and delays in consent processing times.

3
No, the shortage has been in skilled or semi-skilled workers, and also the requested rates of pay are very high for the positions.

4
There was a mixture of large residential and a large number of commercial/industrial projects. Ashburton District Council is set to have record consent numbers for the 2007 year.

5
The outlook is very positive for the first and perhaps second quarter of 2008. However, a drop in residential construction in mid-2008 is expected as interest rate renewals affect mortgages.

 


CANTERBURY


1
The answer to this question depends on how you define activity, although we understand that the residential market has certainly eased throughout the course of 2007. The commercial market has remained strong, albeit the level of tendering activity has been “patchy” over the past four to five months.

Building consent values remain higher than in 2006, although we understand the number of consents is lower.

2
The actual level of activity through 2007, certainly within the commercial sector, continues to apply pressure to available resource, and there is certainly no resource surplus at this time.


3
At this time we are not aware of any companies laying off staff or workers. The subcontract community is particularly stretched at the moment on a wide range of commercial projects, and there is still a chronic shortage of carpenters in the Canterbury region.


4
A number of large apartment developments have been constructed along with a wide range of other commercial projects, high end residential housing and retail developments.


5
2008 will see a large amount of activity in the commercial region in Canterbury, led by a number of substantial projects, including the redevelopment of AMI Stadium, the redevelopment of Christchurch International Airport, hotel developments, major developments at the university and several other commercial and infrastructural-type projects.
Residential activity is forecasted to continue to ease through the course of 2008.

 


TARANAKI


1
There has been no change in the level of activity as such in Taranaki, but margins are tightening in the commercial sector

2
N/A

3
No staff have been laid off, and builders are still advertising for qualified staff and apprentices are still being enrolled.

4
A major extension at New Plymouth Boys High School by King and Steer, The Valley developments by Clelands Construction and the Northern Bypass project by Whitaker Civil.

5
The outlook for 2008 is for strong continued activity.

 


WAIRARAPA


1
Activity has been fairly steady in our area.

2
A shortage of labourers, carpenters and hammerhands has been the main problem this past year.

3
As above.

4
No one large construction project. General residential activity is still very strong and well spread around the region.

5
We are very positive as there is still a lot of building activity in the region.

 


WESTLAND


1
There has been an increase in residential and commercial activity in our region.

2
The main problem has been the coordination of tradesmen’s time on jobs.

3
Westland does not have sufficient staff/workers to cope with current activity.

4
Unknown.

5
The outlook for construction activity in our region going into 2008 is very good.

 


TAURANGA


1
There has been a small decrease in residential and a small increase in commercial activity in our region.

2
Generally, contractors have work planned so there is no noticeable change at this point.

3
The equilibrium of labour and carpenters has been kept in balance due to the slight increase/decrease in the two sectors.

4
The Lakes project in Tauranga, which comprises 208 residential sites and a town centre with 27 shops. There will be approximately 145 commercial sections as well.

5
We are in a quieter period which we believe will continue into the New Year. In saying that, there is a good amount of interest, and we accept the challenge that 2008 will present. Bring it on in the Bay!

 


NELSON

1
In dollar value the residential sector is up 66.1% to August 2007. Commercial is also up but we’re not sure of the figures. It has been the busiest year to date for builders.

2
The biggest problem has been territorial authorities not keeping up with building consents. Skills shortages have also been a worry. 

3
Generally our region has been OK, but a couple of very big short-term projects have put pressure on sub-trades and builder availability.

4
Ryman Health Care – Ernest Rutherford Retirement Village. The land and building are worth approximately $50 million. Other big projects are Fashion Island and the Sands Apartments & Shops.

5
The outlook for construction activity in our region going into 2008 is very positive. The residential sector is looking OK. We need a lot more especially flat sections as the enquiry level is high but section prices are too high at present.

 

There is a demand for sections in the $180,000 to $200,000 range, but the majority available at the moment are all over $220,000.