20 years ago:
The slump in the residential construction market was predicted to continue as the Reserve Bank was unlikely to ease monetary conditions, instead maintaining its firm stance on interest rates. Despite the falling building activity, Westpac chief economist Bevan Graham said a recent study showed pessimism caused by higher mortgage rates had given way to optimism over prospects of a fall in rates later in 1995 or early 1996.
15 years ago:
The biggest challenge builders face is clients’ of ten poorly defined expectations, according to focus group discussions commissioned by the Registered Master Builders Federation.
The need for trust and honesty, for good communication and to meet expectations were the common findings of four focus groups — two each in Auckland and Wellington — conducted as part of Federation initiatives to foster Registered Master Builders’ relationships with their clients, and thereby increase their market share.
A repor t by MM Research which ran the focus groups says poorly defined client expectations stemmed from most of them embarking on major building projects only once in their lifetime. They were, therefore, not very experienced or poorly prepared to manage their way through the building process, while builders did so daily and, as a result, often took things for granted.
10 years ago:
The Auckland City Council was advising customers that building consent applications were taking up to 50 working days to process, mainly due to the construction boom and a nationwide shortage of skilled staff. The situation had also been made more complex by the introduction of the Building Act 2004.
Auckland City Environments group manager Jenny Oxley said the council knew the delays were a source of frustration for many customers. “While we don’ t have a quick fix solution, we want them to know what they can realistically expect,” she said.
She said applicants could help speed up the process by providing all the information required.
5 years ago:
Jennian Homes was calling on the Government to take a stronger leadership role to restore consumer confidence in new home building. Director Richard Carver said indicators were no longer pointing to an upswing, and that consumers were still holding back.
“The Government’s recent attack on residential property investors, GST and ACC increases will onl y undermine consumer confidence further. “Not to mention, in my opinion, the flawed early introduction of the Emissions Trading Scheme, which will force higher petrol and electricity prices on all New Zealanders, at a time when we are all being told we must save more.
“In light of the poor residential consent data for May, the economic forecasts appear too optimistic. Economists will undoubtedly change their views, as usual, just like the changing sands,” he said.