Waikato is confirmed as the highest-growth district council in the North Island according to the latest figures from Statistics NZ, and housing affordability may be part of the reason.
Positioned in the ‘golden triangle’ between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga, Waikato District Council is issuing more consents for new dwellings each year than any other North Island council apart from its closest city neighbours – Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.
“The latest figures show we’re even ahead of Wellington,” says Waikato District Mayor Allan Sanson.
In the year ending November 2016, Waikato District Council issued 849 new building consents, up 55% on the previous year. In the same period Wellington City Council issued 751 new building consents, Hamilton City Council 1245, Tauranga City Council 1704 and Auckland City 10,137.
Mayor Sanson says, “We are now dealing with more than twice the number of consents for new dwellings than three years ago as the district attracts new residents from both Auckland and Hamilton seeking a small-town or country lifestyle.”
According to the latest QV figures (December 2016) the average value of a house in Waikato district is $429,013, up 24.6% on the previous year, compared with the average house values in Auckland $1,047,179, Hamilton $534,860 and Tauranga $672,197.
“We’re a small district of about 70,000, and expecting to grow to nearly 90,000 by 2030-31, so we’re focussed on managing this rapid growth in sustainable ways. This means we’re seeking ways to build the infrastructure we need while maintaining affordable rates, caring for our environment, and encouraging local employment opportunities to support our growing communities.”
Recent decisions by the Ports of Auckland to establish a major inland port in Horotiu by Yashili to establish an infant formula plant in Pokeno , point to a growing business interest in establishing in the Waikato district he says.
Three South Island councils figure among the top eight issuing new dwelling consents in the year to November 2016, with Christchurch issuing 3372, Selwyn District Council 1275 and Queenstown-Lakes District Council 928.