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NZ building consents climb 11% in February, led by Auckland

Wednesday 30th March 2016

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New Zealand residential building consents climbed 11 percent in February, led by increased construction intentions in Auckland as the country's biggest city tries to house a swelling population. 

Seasonally adjusted consents across all dwellings rose to 2,509 in February from 2,264 a month earlier, while permits for new houses rose 4.1 percent to 1,720, according to Statistics New Zealand.

On an unadjusted basis, new housing consents were up 27 percent to 1,712 in February from the same month a year earlier, while apartment consents advanced 45 percent to 204, retirement village units more than doubled to 122 and townhouses, flats and units jumped 61 percent to 341. On an annual basis, new housing consents were up 8.6 percent to 19,546, with all dwellings gaining 12 percent to 27,745. 

Auckland led the increase in housing permits, rising 49 percent to 787 in February from a year earlier. That took the annual number of new consents to 9,534, accelerating from the 9,275 reported in the year to January though still below the 13,000 the city is estimated to need to match population growth.

The city's house price inflation has been cooling in recent months, reflecting restrictions on lending to property investors and government efforts to free up land supply. 

Today's data showed a drop in non-residential building consents, with the value down 21 percent to $372 million in February from a year earlier. On an annual basis, non-residential building permits increased 9.8 percent to $5.78 billion, led by a 60 percent increase in education buildings to $1.14 billion. Offices, administration and public transport accounted for the biggest annual value of new permits at $1.16 billion, down 10 percent from a year earlier. 

The value of all buildings increased 17 percent to $1.45 billion in the month from February 2015, for an annual gain of 13 percent to $16.72 billion. 


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