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Building Consents Issued: April 2012
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  30 May 2012
Commentary

Figures given are unadjusted for seasonal and irregular fluctuations unless otherwise stated.

Dwelling consents trend continues to increase

In April 2012, the number of new dwelling consents was up compared with April 2011. Apartments accounted for a third of the increase.

Dwelling consent numbers for April 2012, compared with April 2011, were:

  • 1,230 new dwellings, including apartments, up 33 percent
  • 1,092 new dwellings, excluding apartments, up 22 percent
  • 138 new apartments (88 of which were retirement village units), up from 34 apartments.
After removing seasonal fluctuations, the number of new dwellings, both including and excluding apartments, fell in April 2012, compared with March 2012. These falls follow large rises in March and are consistent with the volatile nature of the series. The trends for the number of new dwellings, both including and excluding apartments, have both been rising over the last year.

Graph, New dwellings approved, including apartments.  

In April 2012, compared with April 2011, the value of total residential building consents rose $95 million (27 percent) to $449 million. 

Eleven regions consented more dwellings

More new dwellings were consented in 11 of New Zealand's 16 regions, in April 2012 compared with April 2011. 

The three regions with the largest increases were all boosted by apartments, as shown in brackets below. They were:

  • Auckland, up 101, to 360 new dwellings (including 62 apartments)
  • Canterbury, up 84, to 282 new dwellings (including 20 apartments)
  • Waikato, up 48, to 152 new dwellings (including 30 apartments).

Four regions had falls of four or fewer consents.

 Graph, New dwellings approved, by region.

Non-residential building value down in April

In April 2012, the value of non-residential building consents was $228 million, down $24 million (9.4 percent) compared with April 2011.

Six of the 11 building types decreased in value. The largest decreases compared with April 2011 were:

  • hostels and boarding houses, down $20 million (98 percent)
  • offices and administration buildings, down $9 million (22 percent)
  • shops, restaurants, and taverns, down $7 million (15 percent).

Education buildings showed the largest increase, up $10 million (30 percent).

 Graph, Value of non-residential buildings approved.

As shown by the darkest bars in the graph above, the three largest contributors to the value of non-residential buildings in April 2012 were:

  • education buildings, at 19 percent
  • shops, restaurants, and taverns, at 17 percent
  • offices and administration buildings, at 14 percent.

Canterbury earthquake-related consents total $28 million in April

Canterbury consents identified as being earthquake-related totalled $28 million in April 2012.  

Of the $28 million recorded for April, $18 million was for non-residential buildings, and $9 million was for residential buildings (including 17 new dwellings). More information about earthquake-related building consents in Canterbury is available on the Statistics NZ website.

Since 4 September 2010, there have been more than 1,700 Canterbury earthquake-related consents identified, totalling $381 million. This includes 299 new dwellings, of which 149 were relocatable units. Also included are alterations and additions for residential buildings, non-residential buildings, and non-building construction. 

Building consents are often used as an early indicator of building activity, as measured by Statistics NZ's quarterly Value of Building Work Put in Place. In the December 2011 quarter, there appeared to be a greater increase in building activity in Canterbury than in the rest of the country. This is only an indication of the effect of the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, as the survey is designed for accuracy at the national level, not regionally.

Value of Building Work Put in Place: March 2012 quarter will be published on 6 June 2012.

All buildings trend up

The trend for the value of all building consents (residential and non-residential combined) has generally increased since March 2011, up 17 percent over this time. This follows 15 months of decreases. The unadjusted value of all building consents was $677 million, in April 2012.

Graph, Value of building consents approved, including additions and alterations, monthly. Graph, Value of building consents approved, including additions and alterations, year ended April.

For the year ended April 2012, compared with April 2011, the value of consents for:

  • all buildings increased $162 million (1.8 percent) to $8,979 million
  • residential buildings increased $110 million (2.1 percent) to $5,284 million
  • non-residential buildings increased $52 million (1.4 percent) to $3,695 million.

For more detailed data, see the Excel tables in the 'Downloads' box.

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