Healthy Growth in Capital's Inner City Living

30 May 2013

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has welcomed the release of building consents statistics today, which show healthy growth ahead for housing developments in central Wellington.

The latest figures from Statistics New Zealand show that Wellington was the highest growth region for April 2013. The Wellington region’s housing growth increased by 159 dwellings in April 2013 to 238, up from 79 in April 2012, driven by 82 apartments in Wellington City.

The value of new dwellings consented for the Wellington region in April 2013 was $72 million, compared to $20 million in April 2012. For the Capital, the figure of 115 new consents was the highest for the year ending April, which totalled 552 from May 2012 to April 2013 inclusive.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the result reflected the Wellington City Council’s focused efforts on our attractive, dynamic central city.

"Wellington’s CBD is the engine room of the regional economy," said Mayor Wade-Brown. "These statistics show that Wellington is confident in attracting talent to the inner city.

"Wellington has a dynamic, compact central city for people to work, live, study and play. Our downtown amenities – the waterfront, events, our cultural buzz – provide a remarkable quality of life for those who want to live close to town."

The Mayor said the Council had recently undertaken a high level assessment of existing capacity for housing in the city, which showed there was plenty of room for residential growth without needing to expand the city’s urban limits.

Studies indicated that the current zoning provisions already provide for around 5000 lots of greenfield development, up to 14,000 lots for infill development and over 18,000 potential household units in the central city. At our anticipated rate of growth, this equates to more than 20 years growth in each of the various housing types.

"This continues the 40-40-20 general ratio of CBD:infill:greenfield housing mix that we have seen over the last few years. This is a positive for Wellington because it shows that we have a significant amount of residentially-zoned property available in areas which will not require major investment in new infrastructure.

"Pipes, cables and roads are considerable costs for any developments, we’re focused on making sure our future developments will enhance the inner city, without breaking the bank trying to convert greenfield land into residential property," she said.

"These recent figures show that Wellingtonians, new and existing, are choosing to take advantage of the various housing choices that we can provide."