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NZ building consents rise 1.3 percent in May on Auckland, Christchurch construction

Friday 28th June 2013

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New Zealand's new building consents rose in May, adding to a surge in April, as construction intentions Auckland and Christchurch underpinned growth in the sector.

New building permits rose 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted 1,818 last month, with a big build up in Auckland apartments, Statistics New Zealand said. The rose 21 percent in April. Stripping out apartments, seasonally adjusted permits slipped 0.3 percent to 1,591.

On an unadjusted basis, building consents climbed 44 percent to 1,971 in May from the same month a year earlier, and excluding apartments were up 34 percent to 1,752. New residential permits were up 22 percent to 18,521 on an annual basis, and excluding apartments, consents were up 23 percent to 16,754.

The Auckland and Canterbury regions accounted for about 57 percent of the national total with 1,122 new permits issued in May.

The overheated property markets in Auckland and Christchurch has been creating headaches for the Reserve Bank, which is looking at implementing limits on low equity home loans as a means to stifle demand.

The country's construction sector is seen as the driving force in the economy in coming years with a $40 billion spend on rebuilding Christchurch, the country's second biggest city, and the need to meet a shortage of housing stock in the biggest city of Auckland.

Today's figures showed the value of non-residential construction permits rose 24 percent to $434 million from a year earlier, and was up 9.2 percent to $4.04 billion on an annual basis. The value of all building permits was up 32 percent to $1.16 billion in May, and 19 percent to $10.89 billion annually.

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