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Building Consents Issued: April 2013
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  30 May 2013
Commentary

Figures given are not adjusted for seasonal fluctuations unless otherwise stated.

New dwellings up

In April 2013, 1,755 new dwellings, including apartments, were consented. This was up 43 percent compared with April 2012. April 2013 had the highest monthly number of new dwellings since April 2008, when 2,373 were consented.

The new dwellings total this month includes 214 apartments, 115 of which were retirement village units.

Apartments lift number of new dwellings in Wellington and Otago regions

Wellington and Otago regions together consented 185 of the 214 new apartments nationally in April 2013. This lifted the total number of new dwellings, including apartments, making Wellington the top growth region and Otago fourth, after Canterbury and Auckland.

Regional increases in the number of new dwellings in April 2013, compared with April 2012, were:

  • Wellington up 159 (including 82 apartments in Wellington city and 63 retirement village units in Kapiti Coast district) to 238
  • Canterbury up 115 to 397
  • Auckland up 71 to 431
  • Otago up 62 (including 40 retirement village units in Dunedin city) to 115.

 Graph, New dwellings consented, by region, April month.

Only one region, Hawke's Bay, consented fewer new dwellings in April 2013 than in April 2012.

The value of new dwellings consented increased $176 million (48 percent) to $540 million this month, compared with the same month a year ago.

Steady growth in new dwellings trend

The trend for the number of new dwellings, including apartments, has increased by 61 percent over the last 25 months. March 2011 was the lowest point in the trend series since it began in January 1982. The number of new dwellings has been collected since April 1965, but the earliest point in the trend series for new dwellings including apartments is January 1982. The trend series peaked in January 2004 at 2,845, and the current level is 42 percent lower.

The trend for the number of non-apartment dwellings has also increased over the same 25 months, and is 63 percent higher than the most recent low point in March 2011.

Graph, Trend for new dwellings consented, monthly.

The seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings, including apartments, increased 19 percent in April 2013 – the largest increase since March 2012 when it increased 23 percent. Monthly changes in the seasonally adjusted numbers can be volatile, partly due to apartment numbers varying from month to month. 

The seasonally adjusted number of non-apartment dwellings increased 13 percent, the largest increase since August 2011 (16 percent).

Non-residential buildings value up

The value of non-residential building consents was $308 million this month, up $80 million (35 percent) from $228 million in April 2012. The largest contributors in April 2013 were:

  • offices and administration buildings, $50 million (16 percent)
  • education buildings, $47 million (15 percent)
  • shops, restaurants, and taverns, $47 million (15 percent).

The trend for the value of non-residential buildings has eased in recent months. However, non-residential building consent values are volatile with no stable seasonal pattern, and therefore a stable trend for this series is slow to emerge.  

Canterbury earthquake-related consents worth $52 million in April

Canterbury earthquake-related building consents in April were worth $52 million. Of this, $27 million was residential work, including 49 new dwellings, $25 million non-residential work, and $0.2 million non-building work. Demolitions and seismic strengthening work are excluded.

See also Earthquake-related building consents in Canterbury.    

Since 4 September 2010, over 4,200 earthquake-related consents have been identified in Canterbury, totalling over $990 million. This includes over 800 new dwellings, of which 150 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. Canterbury building activity increased 1.5 percent (current price, seasonally adjusted) in the December 2012 quarter, compared with 1.3 percent for the rest of New Zealand. In the September 2012 quarter, Canterbury building activity surged 30 percent, while the rest of New Zealand had a 5.0 percent increase. 

Value of Building Work Put in Place: March 2013 quarter will be published on 5 June 2013.

Annual all buildings value up 18 percent

For the year ended April 2013, compared with the year ended April 2012, the value of building consents increased for:

  • all buildings, up $1,632 million (18.2 percent) to $10,614 million 
  • residential buildings, up $1,377 million (26.1 percent) to $6,660 million 
  • non-residential buildings, up $255 million (6.9 percent) to $3,953 million. 
     
Graph, Value of buildings consented, including alterations and additions, year ended April.  Graph, Value of buildings consented, including alterations and additions, monthly.

The value of consents for all buildings was $954 million this month, up 41 percent from $677 million in April 2012.

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

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