The Government and Auckland Council say they are going to comfortably exceed a targeted 9000 new dwellings and sections approved during the first year of the Auckland Housing Accord.
Under the terms of the Auckland Housing Accord approved between the Government and the Auckland Council, a total of 39,000 new homes are targeted over the next three years using a fast-tracking consent process.
Specifically, 9000 were targeted for the first year, 13,000 for the second and 17,000 for the third. The accord took effect as of October last year, so the first year runs to September 2014.
One of the terms of the accord is for the regular monitoring of progress in achieving the targets. See here for earlier accord articles.
The first Auckland Housing Accord Monitoring Report produced jointly by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment and the Auckland Council reveals that at the current rate of progress 10,800 sections and dwellings will be approved in the first 12 months, which is some 1800 ahead of the target.
The specific definitions used in monitoring progress against targets are:
•Dwellings = The number of new dwellings that receive building consent, as recorded in the monthly building consent data available from Statistics New Zealand.
•Sections = The number of new residential sections of up to 5000 sq m that are legally created in the land register, as recorded weekly by Land Information New Zealand.
According to the report, in the four months since the Auckland Housing Accord took effect, a net total of 3600 new sections had been created and dwellings consented in Auckland.
"At this rate, the Year 1 target of 9000 dwellings and sections is likely to be exceeded by almost 1800 (20%)," the report said.
However, it said that "despite this good start", development activity would need to continue to accelerate in order to meet the "more ambitious targets" in the second and third years of the Accord, and to meet the long-run supply task identified in the Auckland Plan (of 10,000 dwellings per year in the first decade, rising after that).
"Capacity from land in the pipeline has increased. There is currently enough zoned, water-and-transport-enabled greenfield land for approximately 24,900 dwellings (up from 15,000 a year ago), or about 5.4 years’ worth of greenfield land supply. This is below the Auckland Plan target of an average of 7 years’ capacity, but above its minimum level of 5 years’ supply. Market factors will determine the speed with which this capacity is converted into new residential sections and dwellings," the report said.
Within the 22 special housing areas created so far, activity was increasing, but "as expected" this was "yet to impact the headline figures".
"The Housing Project Office [set up to support the accord] is working on over 50 pre-applications with customers (for over 2000 sites/dwellings), has approved 13 consents (for 120 sites/dwellings), and is facilitating master-planning of a further 15 developments."
However, the report said that despite the upturn in residential development activity the median house price had continued to increase in Auckland.
"This is partly the result of other factors that affect house prices, but is also because the recent surge in dwelling consents is still only half the previous peak and is really only addressing the current dwelling shortfall, rather than responding to the underlying demand from population growth."
Housing Minister Nick Smith said housing supply and affordability remained one of the biggest challenges for Auckland and the wider New Zealand economy.
"Good progress is being made with a significant increase in new sections, new houses and new apartments being consented in the first four months since the accord was signed. We’re on track to achieve the first year target but we must maintain momentum if we are to make a lasting change to the supply side of Auckland’s housing market."
Auckland's Mayor Len Brown said the first "quality homes" within the special housing areas would be ready for people to move into later this year,.