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Building Consents Issued: May 2013
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  28 June 2013
Commentary

Figures given are not adjusted for seasonal fluctuations unless otherwise stated.

Large number of new dwellings consented

In May 2013, 1,971 new dwellings were consented, including 219 apartments. Of these apartments, 118 were retirement village units.

There were 1,752 non-apartment dwellings consented in May 2013. This was the highest monthly number of non-apartment dwellings since November 2007, when 2,123 were consented. 

Trend for new dwellings continues to grow

The seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings, including apartments, increased 1.3 percent in May 2013, following a 21 percent increase in April. The trend for the number of new dwellings, including apartments, increased for the 26th month in a row in May 2013. The trend is now 73 percent higher than its historic low point of March 2011.

The trend for new dwellings, including apartments, has been measured for over 30 years, and peaked more than nine years ago in January 2004. Currently, the trend is 37 percent lower than its peak.

 Graph, Trend for new dwellings consented, monthly, March 2006 to May 2013.

The seasonally adjusted number of non-apartment dwellings fell only 0.3 percent in May 2013, following a moderate 8.2 percent increase in April.

See the Data Quality section for more information about seasonally adjusted series, trend estimates, and trading day adjustments.

The trend for the number of non-apartment new dwellings has increased by 63 percent since the most recent low point in March 2011. This trend has been measured for over 20 years, and is currently 30 percent lower than its peak of September 2003.

Apartments boost number of new dwellings in Auckland

The Auckland region consented 154 new apartments in May 2013, up 117 compared with May 2012. The number of new apartments consented in the Auckland region is 70 percent of the 219 national total this month.  

Graph, New dwellings consented, by region, May month, 2011 to 2013.

Together, the Auckland and Canterbury regions consented 1,122 new dwellings, 57 percent of the national total.

Regional increases in the number of new dwellings consented in May 2013, compared with May 2012 were:

  • Auckland, up 267 to 628 new dwellings (including 154 apartments)
  • Canterbury, up 143 to 494 (including 23 apartments)
  • Waikato, up 74 to 240 (including 12 apartments).

Three regions consented fewer new dwellings in May 2013 than in May 2012: Nelson (down 14), Gisborne (down 12), and Southland (down 4).

Value of non-residential buildings strong

The value of non-residential building consents in May 2013 was $434 million. This is the the first month in 2013 when the value has been over $400 million.The largest contributors, by value, in May 2013 were: 

  • offices and administration buildings, $122 million (28 percent of all non-residential buildings) 
  • shops, restaurants, and taverns, $59 million (14 percent) 
  • storage buildings, $52 million (12 percent) 
  • factories and industrial buildings, $48 million (11 percent).  

Canterbury earthquake-related building consents from September 2010 top $1 billion

All earthquake-related building consents in Canterbury for the 33 months from September 2010 reached almost $1,050 million in May 2013. This included 885 new dwellings, of which 150 were relocatable units. Also included were alterations and additions for residential buildings, non-residential buildings, and non-building construction. Note that not all earthquake-related consents can be identified. Demolitions and seismic strengthening work are excluded.

In May 2013, the value of consents identified as earthquake-related in Canterbury was $56 million, including: 

  • 64 new dwellings 
  • $32 million of residential work 
  • $23 million of non-residential work 
  • $0.1 million of non-building construction.

See more about earthquake-related building consents in Canterbury    

Building consents are often used as an early indicator of building activity, as measured by Statistics NZ’s quarterly Value of Building Work Put in Place. Canterbury building activity increased 23 percent (current price, seasonally adjusted) in the March 2013 quarter, compared with 5.1 percent for the rest of New Zealand. 

Value of Building Work Put in Place: June 2013 quarter will be published on 4 September 2013.

Value of all buildings near $1.2 billion

The value of consents for all buildings was $1,160 million in May 2013. This is the highest monthly value since August 2007. Note that building consent values are not adjusted for inflation.

Graph, Value of buildings consented, including alterations and additions, monthly, March 2011 to May 2013. Graph, Value of buildings consented, including alterations and additions, year ended May, 2011 to 2013.

For the year ended May 2013, compared with the year ended May 2012, the value of building consents increased for: 

  • all buildings, up $1,770 million (19 percent) to $10,894 million 
  • residential buildings, up $1,428 million (26 percent) to $6,855 million 
  • non-residential buildings, up $341 million (9.2 percent) to $4,038 million.

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

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