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Selwyn's building boom is continuing, four years on from the first Canterbury earthquake.
Selwyn District Council buildings manager Ian Butler said a record 1600 consents for new houses were issued in the year to June 30, 2014, as the district was rapidly becoming the fastest growing in the country. ''It's the new normal,'' Mr Butler said.
''I think everybody's looking for ways to work smarter, and not harder.''
He said 600 consents for new houses were issued in the year to June 30, 2011, but this had changed markedly in the past two years as Christchurch residents relocated from the city.
Selwyn's pre-quake population was about 38,000, but it was now believed to be about 44,000. The district's four major growth areas were West Melton, Rolleston, Prebbleton and Lincoln, which were all within easy commuting distance from Christchurch.
However, all of the district's towns were experiencing growth, Mr Butler said. The growth had been so rapid, the Ministry of Education was forced to find a larger site for the proposed new Rolleston high school.
''The high school was going to be across the road from the Clearview [Primary] School, but they had to find another site because the population of the area has already outgrown the original site,'' Mr Butler said.
It was unclear how long the growth would continue, he said. Statistics provided by Infometrics' Quarterly Economic Monitor showed the median house price in Selwyn was $508,000, compared with $426,00 in Canterbury overall and the national median of $415,000.
The building boom has also continued in the Waimakariri district, with consents for new houses topping 1000 for the third year in a row. However, house consents were down on last year's record of more than 1200.
More than 1000 homes in the Kaiapoi ward were declared red zone in June and August 2011, and while 829 consents for new houses were issued in the town between January 2012 and June 2014, Mayor David Ayers said there was still some way to go before the town's housing stock was replaced.
''Most of the people in the red zones have moved somewhere else, even if it is in temporary accommodation while a new house is built, and most of them are still in the Waimakariri district.
''Some of those consents will be for new houses to replace homes on green zone land, so we still have a wee way to go to replace Kaiapoi's housing stock.''
Waimakariri's population topped 50,000 in June last year and continued to grow.
By David Hill