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NZ residential building permits jump in November as apartments make up for shrinking house consents

Friday 12th January 2018

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New Zealand residential building consents climbed 11 percent in November as a jump in apartments offset the fourth straight decline in new house permits. 

Seasonally adjusted new dwelling consents rose to 2,743 in November from 2,477 in October, Statistics New Zealand said. Of that, new house permits fell 1.3 percent to 1,694, dropping for a fourth month. 

"November’s rebound in home consents was driven by apartments, which tend to fluctuate a lot and were particularly low in October," construction statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said in a statement. "Looking at the longer-term picture, building consents for apartments and townhouses have seen double-digit growth year after year, while consents for stand-alone houses have levelled off."

Quotable Value figures yesterday showed New Zealand's property market cooled in 2017, with values rising at half the pace of 2016 as Reserve Bank-imposed lending restrictions, tougher credit criteria and political uncertainty saw activity shrink. The housing market had been on a tear in the prior years as a shortage of property coincided with a record influx of new migrants, helping swell the population and stoking demand. 

Auckland had been a major driver of much of the property market's strength in recent years, feeling the mismatch between supply and demand more acutely than other areas. Today's figures show permits in the country's biggest city rose to 1,450 in November from 1,118 in the same month a year earlier. That's the second-highest number of Auckland permits ever. 

The data show 31,123 new dwellings were consented in the 12 months ended Nov. 30, up from 30,399 a year earlier. The value of those permits rose 7.7 percent to $11.51 billion, slowing from the 24 percent pace a year earlier. 

New house permits shrank 0.8 percent to 21,178 in the 12 month period, while apartments climbed 33 percent to 3,137 and retirement village units were also up by a third to 1,969. Permits for townhouses, flats and units rose 14 percent to 4,839. 

The value of non-residential building permits climbed 34 percent to $549 million in November from the same month a year earlier, while the floor area consented shrank 11 percent to 215,000 square metres. On an annual basis, the value of non-residential permits rose 11 percent to $6.61 billion across a 6.8 percent increase in floor area to 2.91 million square metres. 

(BusinessDesk)

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