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New Zealand sees strongest ever house building boom: housing minister
Last Updated: 2016-12-19 09:51 | Xinhua
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The annual number of new homes approved in New Zealand has passed 30,000 for the first time in 11 years, as the country attempts to get to grips with a housing crisis.

In the year to the end of October, more than twice as many homes were consented as in 2011 when the number reached a 60-year low, the government statistics agency said Monday.

However, the number was still 10,000 fewer than the all-time high of 40,000 reached in early 1974, and was 3,000 fewer than the 29-year high in mid-2004, according to Statistics New Zealand.

One-third of the homes consented over the past year were in Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city and home to a third of the population, business indicators senior manager Neil Kelly said in a statement.

New Zealand was into its fifth straight year of strong growth in construction, Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith said in a statement.

"This is the longest and strongest residential construction boom in New Zealand history, with five straight years of growth averaging over 20 percent per annum. This is as fast as you can practically grow a sector as large and as complex as construction without compromising quality," Smith said.

"The 2004 boom was focused on thousands of small apartments in Auckland that are no longer allowed, and the 1974 boom rapidly crashed due to the unsustainable mix of high inflation and low interest government loans," said Smith.

"The current boom is much more sustainable, better balanced nationwide and also involves record levels of investment in commercial and infrastructure construction."

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