Housing supply

Housing supply continues to struggle to meet demand in Nelson-Tasman

The demand for housing in Nelson-Tasman still exceeds the supply of new homes, leaving the area one of the least affordable in the country.

A report on the state of housing in the area outlined some of the reasons for the current shortage, which was discussed at a meeting of Nelson City Council on Tuesday.

The Nelson Tasman Joint Monitoring Report provides statistics on a range of housing indicators, including housing supply and demand, housing affordability, housing prices and rents, and housing development capacity .

The report tracked data from July 2020 to June 2021 in the Nelson-Tasman urban environment – comprising Nelson, Richmond, Hope, Motueka, Māpua, Wakefield, Brightwater, Cable Bay and Hira.

* Number of building permits drops in Nelson-Tasman
* Nelson urged to build up reserves for new accommodation
* Median Nelson-Tasman home prices climb 60-70% over five years


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As of June 30, 2020, 85,400 people lived in urban areas (52,500 in Nelson and 32,900 in Tasman), an increase of 2% from the previous year.

Figures from Statistics New Zealand estimated that almost all of the population growth was due to migration to the region.

International migration accounted for half of Tasman’s gain, while Nelson’s migration gain came entirely from international migration.

Meanwhile, median house prices continued to rise, reaching $685,500 in Nelson and $760,000 in Tasman.

Much of the growth in the Tasman District has come from Richmond, Brightwater and Māpua.


Much of the growth in the Tasman District has come from Richmond, Brightwater and Māpua.

In terms of affordability, Nelson actually improved slightly from May 2020 to May 2021, by a factor of 1.9%.

However, affordability in Tasman has deteriorated by 9.5% over the same period. Tasman remains the second least affordable region in the country (behind Auckland), with Nelson just behind in fifth place.

The report said housing supply had struggled to keep up with demand since 2015, “although the gap appears to have narrowed in recent years to an annual shortfall of 100 houses in Nelson and Tasman”.

However, other indicators such as the waiting list for social housing show that the demand for housing continues to grow.

Since 2016, Nelson has seen a tenfold increase in the number of applicants eligible for social housing, from 24 to 282. In Tasman, the increase has been eightfold, from 21 to 165 over the same period.

Andy MacDonald / Stuff

A climate action group says the council has failed to clearly communicate the risk of flooding in Nelson’s CBD to the public and should not allow social housing to be built in the flood zone without discussing it with the community .

At the meeting Councilor Kate Fulton asked if housing data measured the number of people who were homeless or living in their vehicles – the answer was no.

Deputy Mayor Judene Edgar said the true level of the housing shortage was likely underreported.

“I know Statistics New Zealand tries to capture some of these details, but statistics can only measure so many things.

“I think we all know there’s more unmet demand than current data tools show us…we need to do everything we can to enable housing supply.”

While Nelson and Tasman councils were confident housing supply would pick up after a slowdown in 2020, the report suggests current household growth was higher than expected.

Growth in Tasman has been higher than expected, particularly in Richmond, Brightwater and Māpua – with 119 more homes than expected in 2020/2021.

In Nelson, 260 new building permits were granted in 2020/2021. This exceeded long-term plan estimates, which called for an increase in household growth of 35, as well as a projected shortfall of 200 homes for the previous three years.

The report was discussed at Nelson City Council's Urban Development Sub-Committee meeting on Tuesday.

Martin De Ruyter / Stuff

The report was discussed at Nelson City Council’s Urban Development Sub-Committee meeting on Tuesday.

Mayor Rachel Reese said she believed there was still “massive unmet demand” in that number.

“That’s the dilemma we have…we’re probably going to have a lot more unmet demand again, we’re seeing it skyrocketing as to when we can get development on the right scale.”

Reese said the council needs to identify barriers to obtaining properties through the consent process.

“Ideally, we want these monitoring reports to indicate that we are meeting our targets for increasing housing supply, and we are particularly focused on increasing the number of housing units in the city center and on the outskirts of the city. city. »