During the year, 325 dwellings were built with a value of more than $65 million, excluding land costs. The number of dwellings built has been steadily rising in the last few years, coinciding with Hutt City Council introducing incentives in 2013 for some new housing developments.
In the 2017 financial year, unemployment fell from 7.6 per cent to 5.6 per cent, according to Statistics New Zealand, and electronic card retail spending in the June 2017 quarter rose 6.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2016. The total retail spend for the 2017 financial year was $1.14 million, according to MarketView data.
Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says while Council cannot claim all the credit for the recent growth in the city’s economic performance, its unwavering focus on partnership-building with business, community groups and education institutions over the years, targeted incentives for housing and business development and other ground work to grow the city is clearly getting traction.
“Rejuvenating Lower Hutt is much more than a catch cry. Beneath the vision is a great deal of hard graft and thoughtful planning to ensure growth is managed and sustainable and enhances the Lower Hutt lifestyle.”
Historically, Lower Hutt’s economy had a run of high growth until the economic reforms of the 1990s, when many large industrial employers closed down. The global financial crisis in 2008 also put the brakes on economic performance, resulting in a long period of low growth.
However, the most recent economic data available shows the number of businesses operating in Lower Hutt has steadily risen from 9627 in 2013, when Council introduced economic development incentives, to 9990 in 2016. Between the 2015 and 2016 financial years, Lower Hutt’s average household income jumped 15.2 per cent from $88,775 to $102,257, according to Statistics New Zealand.
In 2016, population reached 103,400, up 1.4 per cent from 2015 – not a massive increase but significant given the highest annual increase since 2001 was 0.7 Per cent.