Inside an industry’s crisis of confidence

Builders have never been busier, but they’re increasingly pessimistic. The Government hopes its reassurances about ending the boom-bust cycle will turn that around, Thomas Coughlan reports.

The construction sector should be smiling. Compared to retail, manufacturing, and media, these are boom times for the industry.

The sector is in the midst of ramping up, and Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford has begun one of the largest state-backed house building programmes in generations.

But a poll taken before last weekend’s construction industry forum in Wellington showed rising pessimism in the sector.

Of the building industry players surveyed, 52 percent believed the sector was performing badly or terribly, and 29 percent thought its performance was average. Just 19 percent thought the sector’s performance was good.

Never had it so good?

The industry is gradually realising the boom times might be drawing to their natural end.

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