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Dwelling consents reach 14-year high in 2018

Monday 4th February 2019

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New Zealand councils consented 32,996 new dwellings in 2018, up 6.1 percent on the year before and the highest since mid-2004, Stats NZ said. 

The number was driven by an 18 percent increase in Auckland consents and a 19 percent lift in Wellington. 

In the Auckland region, 12,862 new homes were consented in 2018. This is down slightly from the year ended October 2018 when 13,078 homes were consented, the highest since the early 1970s, Stats NZ said. 

There were 2,731 new homes consented in the Wellington region in 2018, just below the record 2,781 set in the year ended June 2018, the highest since regional records began in 1991. There were also 3,742 new homes consented in the Waikato, Stats NZ said. 

Of total consents, townhouses, flats and units were up 33.1 percent while apartments - defined as buildings with 10 or more dwellings - lifted 9.6 percent versus 2017.  The number of retirement village units fell 6.2 percent while the number of stand-alone houses was up 0.5 percent. 

Stats NZ also said that home consents issued to central government agencies reached a 40-year high in the year ended December 2018. Central government agencies, including Housing New Zealand, were granted consent for 1,999 new homes in 2018, which is the highest number since the year ended November 1978 when 2,105 were consented. Townhouses, flats, and units accounted for almost half of the new homes consented to central government in 2018. The majority were in Auckland. 

For the month of December, a total of 2,382 consents were issued for all types of homes, up 9.8 percent versus the same month a year earlier but down 24 percent from November. Of those, the number of consents for townhouses, flats and units was up 36.7 percent while the number of apartments rose 13.8 percent. 

Monthly consent numbers are volatile. Historically consents for new homes tended to peak mid-year, for summer construction, but the trend to more apartments and the growth of the retirement home sector has increased the variability in the data.

Stats NZ said that, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the December number rose 5.1 percent versus November after a 1.9 percent fall that month. 

The annual value of residential building work consented was $14.2 billion, up 5.2 percent from the December 2017 year. The annual value of non-residential building work consented was $7.1 billion, up 9 percent. Shops, restaurants and bars were the biggest contributors by value. 

(BusinessDesk)

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