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Multi-unit homes make up 40% of all consents in Sept year

Thursday 31st October 2019

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Multi-unit homes helped propel the number of new housing consents to their highest level since the October 1974 year.

Apartment buildings, townhouse complexes and retirement villages accounted for 40 percent of total housing consents in the year ended Sept. 30. 

“The rise in consents for multi-unit homes continues to be driven by more activity in Auckland, with over 1,000 more multi-unit homes consented there in the past 12 months than in the previous year,” construction statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said.

However, “more multi-unit homes have been consented in other regions too and are becoming more common in many parts of New Zealand,” she added.

Some 36,446 residential building consents were issued in the year ended Sep. 30, up 12 percent from a year earlier, Stats NZ figures show.

While the number was the highest since the October 1974 year it was still below the record 40,025 new homes consented in the February 1974 year. The population of New Zealand in the mid-1970s was around 3 million, compared with about 4.9 million now, it said.

In the past year, the number of consented townhouses, flats and units lifted 26.7 percent to 7,677 while the number of apartments rose 17.8 percent to 4,505 and the number of retirement village units was up 17.1 at 2,310.

Growth in all three outpaced the lift in consents for standalone houses, which rose 6.1 percent to 21,954.

McKenzie noted that the share of multi-unit homes had increased from a low point of about 15 percent in 2010.

The value of the residential consents lifted 13 percent in the year to September to $13.5 billion.

The September data “reinforces our expectations for strong building activity continuing through 2020,” said Westpac Bank senior economist Satish Ranchhod.

He is expecting ongoing intensification in Auckland with a shift to smaller homes over time.

Ranchhod expects building activity to begin tapering off after 2020 because population growth is cooling and building levels – even in Auckland -  are now looking commensurate with population growth.

Stats NZ figures showed seasonally adjusted dwelling consents lifted 7.2 percent in September to 3,318 but stand-alone housing consents were down 4.8 percent to 1,755.

Meanwhile, in the year ended September, the value of non-residential building consents totalled $7.6 billion, up 13 percent from the September 2018 year. 


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