Building consents surge 5 per cent in October

30 November 2015

The number of new homes being approved rose by 5 per cent in October, but is still down from a July surge in building consents.

Statistics New Zealand released the latest figures for residential building consents this morning that show 2,349 new dwellings were consented, nearly three-quarters of them new houses.

The trend for the number of new dwellings consented in Auckland is at its highest level since December 2004, and its partly due to a growth in the consents for new apartments.

There were 804 new dwellings approved in Auckland in October, an increase of 214 from October 2014.

Two nearby regions also had large increases, with Waikato consenting 259 dwellings, an increase of 65, and Bay of Plenty consenting 205, an increase of 85.

The trend for the Wellington region is showing signs of decreasing, and Canterbury region has not changed much this year, the statistics agency said. The Canterbury region consented 489 new dwellings, down 197 from October 2014.

“Dwelling consents are well above the historical average in both Auckland and Canterbury,” business indicators senior manager Neil Kelly said.

“Auckland dwelling consents have continued to increase, while Canterbury has come down from the peak we saw last year.”

The value of building work for residential property increased 2.4 per cent from October 2014 to $898 million.

Jane Turner, senior economist at ASB, said the lift in demand for apartments masked a “relatively muted underlying demand”.

“Some of this weakness stems from Canterbury, which is to be expected. However, soft trend growth in Auckland house building demand is a development to watch closely given Auckland’s ongoing housing shortages.”

In September, seasonally adjusted consents slipped 5.7 per cent to 2,232, following a 5.3 per cent slide in August.

The Bay of Plenty building sector was buzzing after 389 new builds were signed off. The Tauranga City Council and the Western Bay of Plenty District Council issued $91.6 million worth of consents, compared to 287 worth $48.3 million in October last year.

Mike Way, the president of the Western Bay Certified Builders Association, said the industry was experiencing “one of the busiest times that I can remember”.

“I would need a crystal ball to know how much longer the boom will continue but I think there’s every indication it will last well into 2017.”

from NZ Herald