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Bigger house footprint pushes up building budgets

13 Mar 2017 12:18 pm

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Median household income multiplied to reach median house price. Three times or less is considered affordable. Source: interest.co.nz
The cost of building a home in the Auckland region has gone up by 70 per cent in the past 10 years, with the average build costing $2166 a square metre.

According to Statistics NZ, the cost per square metre in 2006 was $1250 – 20 years ago that figure was $819.
And while demand is at an all-time high, building consents in Auckland are not. Council last year issued 9930 consents, compared to 12,182 in 2002.

Statistics NZ business indicators senior manager Neil Kelly says nationally, home building is not at record levels, but modern homes are much larger, with an average floor area of 181 square metres.

“We’re building less homes than we were in the mid-1970s, but they are on average 60 per cent bigger,” Mr Kelly says.

Warkworth-based architectural designer Martin Harnish believes the price per square metre is actually much higher than $2166.

“My clients are spending $3000 to $5000 per square metre,” he says. “It’s not uncommon to spend $1 million building a house, and that’s not a super-flash house either.”

Martin has been designing homes for almost 30 years and believes the biggest cost increases have occurred in the last five years. He says the Unitary Plan has made construction easier in some areas, but almost every house now requires additional resource consent.

“The Unitary Plan has allowed greater density, but has also tightened the building parameters in some areas. Smaller sites and bigger houses pushes the planning boundaries, often requiring additional consents,” Martin says.
An Auckland Council building consent for a house worth more than $500,000 is $6348. Martin says the total figure is usually $7000 to $8000 and additional resource consent costs around $5500. That takes the total consenting costs to between $12,000 and $14,000.

Massimo Biscuola, from Golden Homes Warkworth, says the company has released around 120 sections across three subdivisions in Warkworth and all were sold within 10 months. He says they have another 150 sections due for release this year and prices are being maintained.

“Our highest specification house at 250sqm costs around $1100 per square metre. That is a build-only cost and does not include site related expenses, flooring and curtains.”

Point Wells builder Ryan Bridgens says the price of quality building materials has increased rapidly over the past two years.

“Last week my suppliers informed me that the price of steel was going up by 20 per cent,” Ryan says.

“That’s a huge increase and the price of everything has gone up, but we are building better quality homes to higher building standards, using better materials.”

Ryan estimates labour costs account for between 10 and 15 per cent of the total build. He says qualified, experienced builders earn around $65 an hour, compared to around $40 a decade ago.


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