Key Facts

  • Not only the construction of new homes is decreasing, but also the number of major alterations to existing homes.
  • A building consent is required for these structural changes, which usually require the employment of professionals such as builders, electricians and plumbers.
  • Within a year, ending in January, these alterations have contributed more than $2.3 billion to the building industry.
  • However, the volume of such work has seen a decline over the last two years.
  • Residential alteration consents peaked at 26,947 in 2022, then decreased to 24,049 in 2024, marking a drop of 10.8%.
  • The perceived wealth generated from such work has continued to grow, possibly due to inflationary pressures, rising industry costs, or a shift towards high-quality services.
  • The decline in alteration work is a nationwide trend. Over the past year, there was a decrease in the number of alteration consents in major urban centres such as Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington Region, Canterbury and Otago.

Article Summary

The decline in new housing constructions has been coupled with a decrease in major alterations made to existing homes, affecting New Zealand’s building industry and the tradies it employs. Making such structural changes typically requires the services of builders, electricians, and plumbers and need to be consented by the local council.

Although residential modifications have contributed over $2.3 billion to the building industry over the last year, a decline, to the tune of 10.8%, has been observed over the last two years in the volume of work. To illustrate, residential alteration consents that amounted to 26,947 in 2022 dropped to 24,049 in 2024.

Despite the reduction in work volume, the total revenue gained the building industry from alteration work has been on an incline. This could be attributed to inflationary pressures, incessantly rising industry costs, or a possible shift towards superior services. This trend of decline is present nationwide, as indicated by fewer alteration consents being issued across major urban centres over the last year.

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