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Building Consents Issued: March 2016
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  29 April 2016

Figures given are not adjusted for seasonal fluctuations unless otherwise stated. Values include GST and are not adjusted for inflation.

New dwellings decrease in March

In March 2016, a total of 2,315 new dwellings were consented, comprising:

  • 1,815 houses
  • 334 townhouses, flats, and units
  • 134 retirement village units
  • 32 apartments.

The seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings fell 9.8 percent, following a 10 percent rise in February. The trend is showing signs of easing.

For houses only, the seasonally adjusted number fell 4.1 percent, following a 3.9 percent rise in February. The trend is flat.

The number of apartments consented fluctuates from month to month, and March 2016 had the lowest monthly number since November 2012.

Graph, Trend for new dwellings consented, monthly, 2001 to 2016.

New dwellings up in 10 of the 16 regions

In 10 of the 16 regions, the number of new dwellings consented in March 2016 was higher than in March 2015. The regions with the largest increases were:

  • Waikato – up 57 (26 percent) to 276
  • Bay of Plenty – up 47 (35 percent) to 181
  • Auckland – up 32 (4.2 percent) to 788
  • Otago – up 32 (34 percent) to 126
  • Northland – up 26 (38 percent) to 94. 

In Canterbury, 520 new dwellings were consented – down 68 (12 percent) from March 2015.

The national number of new dwellings consented in March 2016 was 44 (1.9 percent) higher than in March 2015.  

Graph, New dwellings consented, including apartments, by region, March month.

The trend for the number of new dwellings consented in Auckland recently reached its highest level since late 2004, but appears to have tailed off in the last few months.

The trend for Waikato is at its highest level since mid-2007. The trend for Wellington appears to be decreasing. The trend for the rest of the North Island is at its highest level since early 2008.

The trend for Canterbury has fallen 17 percent since the series peak in late 2014, but is still well above the historical average level. The trend for the rest of the South Island appears to be decreasing.

Note: Trend movements, particularly for recent months, may be revised when we add future months to the series.

Graph, Trend for new dwellings consented, by region, monthly, March 2008 to March 2016.

Canterbury earthquake-related consents total $3.6 billion

Since September 2010, $3.6 billion of Canterbury's consents have been identified as earthquake-related building consents. This includes consents for 4,331 new dwellings.

Not all earthquake-related consents can be identified. For comparison, total figures for Canterbury from September 2010 to March 2016 were:

  • $17 billion of building consents (all construction) 
  • 28,195 new dwellings consented.

In March 2016, the value of consents identified as earthquake-related in Canterbury was $81 million (of a total of $334 million for Canterbury). This included 76 new dwellings (of a total of 520).

Graph, Value of building consents in Canterbury, including alterations, additions, and non-building construction, monthly, December 2008 to March 2016.

Non-residential building consents up

The value of consents for non-residential buildings in March 2016 was $460 million – up $33 million (7.8 percent) from March 2015. This was mainly due to increases in the value of consents for two building types: hostels, boarding houses, and prisons; and social, cultural, and religious buildings.

Graph, Value of non-residential buildings consented, by building type (including alterations and additions), March month, 2014 to 2016.

The regions that contributed the highest value of non-residential building consents in March 2016 were:

  • Auckland – $178 million
  • Canterbury – $124 million
  • Waikato – $31 million.

Consents for all buildings total $1.5 billion in March

The total value of building work consented in March 2016 was $1.5 billion. This comprised $1.0 billion of residential work, and $460 million of non-residential work.

For the year ended March 2016, compared with the year ended March 2015, the value of buildings consented increased for:

  • all buildings – up $1.9 billion (13 percent) to $17 billion
  • residential buildings – up $1.3 billion (14 percent) to $11 billion
  • non-residential buildings – up $545 million (10 percent) to $5.8 billion.

Graph, Annual value of residential, non-residential and all building consents, March years 2012 to 2016

Data for building consents is obtained from all territorial authorities in New Zealand.

For more detailed data, see the Excel tables in the 'Downloads' box.

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