The Registered Master Builders Federation says figures released recently by Statistics New Zealand confirm the increased activity that has been evident in the market during February.
Figures show the number of new housing units rose 10% in February (excluding apartments) when adjusted for seasonal effects.
However, RMBF chief executive Warwick Quinn says the level of enquiry has dropped significantly recently, and that we may not see the February trend continue in the short term.
Mr Quinn says the Government’s recent announcements on tax issues associated with depreciation on investment properties and the potential ring fencing of losses has frightened investors off, and enquiries have slowed considerably.
“This has had a larger impact than the signalling of a possible GST increase,” Mr Quinn says.
“This shows just how fragile the recovery is and, while it is pleasing to see new building consent numbers increase, they are still at very low levels.”
The statistics for non-residential building consents were down 17% when compared with February 2009, and the immediate outlook is for this sector to be flat for some time,” Mr Quinn says.
The regions with the largest increases in February were Canterbury, Auckland and Manawatu-Wanganui. The Wellington region had the largest decrease, though there were no apartment units authorised in February 2010.