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House building booming in Dunedin

Dunedin is in the throes of a housing construction boom, with more building permits issued in the year to October than in almost 30 years.

Building permits were issued by Dunedin City Council for 537 new homes this year, the highest number in a 12-month period since 1992, when 540 were issued.

The head of the Council’s research and oversight team, Nathan Stocker, said the numbers reflected strong housing demand and population growth in recent years, and the market was typically taking a few years to catch up. .

Completed dwellings fell behind the permits granted and 340 new houses were built during the year.

Of the 537 properties granted, 335 were stand-alone homes, while 140 were townhouses, 59 were apartments, and three were retirement village units.

The number of attached units has doubled the demand for this type of housing in recent years, Mr. Stocker said.

He believed that there were two reasons for the growth of this type of housing.

First, as house prices increased in the city, many buyers were more willing to compromise on the type of home they would consider buying in order to move up the property ladder.

There was also a growth in the city’s over-65 population, who were more likely to look to downsize to a less-maintenance unit.

There was also an increase in subdivision applications in June, with more than 700 lots being requested, Mr Stocker said.

Some of these requests may not be accepted, and it may take several years for developments to progress from initial request to completion.

High house prices and high demand meant there was still a strong incentive for developers to subdivide land.

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