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Too quick to judge KiwiBuild?

KiwiBuild still making a difference: industry players By Catherine Harris - Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says he thinks Kiwibuild will complete 300 houses but not 1000 houses in its first year. Kiwibuild may not meet its first-year target, but some economists and developers believe people have been too quick to dismiss its influence. Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says Kiwibuild is on track to complete 300 houses by July 1 but that it will miss its first-year target of 1000 homes. Auckland Council's chief economist and former Westpac economist David Norman said that was not surprising because of the time it took to get housing underway. The growth in Auckland building consents indicates demand is still strong, especially for cheaper new houses. But Kiwibuild had been useful in creating "a whole new market segment" of lower-priced homes in Auckland where there had been little incentive to deliver them in the past. Some developers were now targeting the $650,000 Kiwibuild price cap for three-bedroom houses in Auckland, even if they weren't part of Kiwibuild. "The fact that this wouldn't have happened a year and a half ago is the point." And the focus on lower new house prices was not due to fears of fewer buyers and a softer real estate market, because building consents were "going through the roof". Tuatahi, a housing development containing some Kiwibuild apartments being built by Ockham Residential and local iwi, in Mt Albert. Annual Auckland building consents were hovering around 13,000 in November, up 25 per cent in the last 15 months, indicating that demand was still there. "People still…

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