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Building Consents Issued: December 2012
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  30 January 2013

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

New dwellings trend continues to grow

In December 2012, 1,381 new dwellings (including apartments) were consented. It was the 21st consecutive month of growth in the trend for the number of new dwellings. This trend was 48 percent higher than the most recent low point of March 2011. The trend number excluding apartments grew by 43 percent during the same period.

Housing consent numbers in December 2012, compared with December 2011, were:

  • 1,381 new houses, including apartments (up 23 percent)
  • 1,149 new houses, excluding apartments (up 17 percent)
  • 232 new apartments (up 57 percent).

Of the apartments, 127 were retirement village units.   

The seasonally adjusted number of consents for new dwellings including apartments increased 9.4 percent in December 2012. Non-apartment houses decreased 1.0 percent. Apartment numbers can vary considerably from month to month, as reflected in the graph below.

Graph, New dwellings consented, including apartments, monthly, December 2005 to December 2012.  

There were 16,929 new dwellings (including apartments) consented in the December 2012 year. This was up 24 percent on the 13,662 new dwellings consented in the December 2011 year. 

In December 2012, the value of all residential building consents was $487 million, 10 percent higher than in December 2011 and 32 percent higher than in December 2010. New dwellings continue to drive the value increase.

New dwellings contributed $401 million (82 percent) of the total residential buildings value in December 2012. The remaining $86 million (18 percent) came from alterations, additions, and domestic outbuildings.

Graph, Residential buildings consented, monthly values, December 2010 to December 2012.

The residential buildings value trend has been rising for 20 consecutive months, and is now 45 percent higher than at the most recent low point of April 2011.

Auckland and Canterbury regions drive new dwellings growth

The 23 percent national increase in dwelling consent numbers, for the December 2012 month compared with December 2011, was concentrated in Auckland and Canterbury.

Auckland had the largest increase in new dwellings, up 140 (48 percent) from December 2011. This increase included 76 new apartments, compared with 41 new apartment consents in December 2011. The former Rodney District was the main contributor to the Auckland increase.

The number of new dwellings consented in the Canterbury region was up 82 (41 percent) compared with December 2011. The biggest contributors to this increase were:

  • Christchurch, up 35 (57 percent)
  • Waimakariri District, up 23 (42 percent)
  • Selwyn District, up 9 (19 percent)

Wellington had the only substantial regional decrease, down 73 (39 percent).

 Graph, New dwellings consented, by region, December month, 2010 to 2012.

For the December 2012 year compared with the December 2011 year:

  • Eight of the nine North Island regions reported an increase in the number of consents for new dwellings. The North Island total was 10,719, up 1,257 (13 percent). 
  • In the South Island, five of the seven regions had more new dwellings. The South Island total was 6,209, up 2,016 (48 percent). 

Value of non-residential buildings steady 

The value of non-residential building consents in December 2012 was $340 million, up just $1 million (0.3 percent) compared with December 2011.

Five of the 11 building types increased in value. The largest movements were in:

  • hostels and boarding houses, up $28 million – boosted by a large consent for a men's prison in Manukau city
  • education buildings, down $16 million.

 Graph, Value of non-residential buildings consented, by building type (including alterations and additions), December month, 2010 to 2012.

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

  • offices and administration buildings, at 21 percent
  • social, cultural, and religious buildings, at 13 percent
  • shops, restaurants, and taverns, at 13 percent.  

Consents for 34 new earthquake-related dwellings in Canterbury

Canterbury consents identified as being earthquake-related totalled $45 million in December 2012. In 2012, the monthly value ranged from $25 million to $59 million.

Of the $45 million recorded for December, $20 million was for residential buildings, including 34 new dwellings. A further $25 million was for non-residential building work. See also Earthquake-related building consents in Canterbury.

Since 4 September 2010, more than 3,500 earthquake-related consents have been identified in Canterbury, totalling $793 million. This includes 599 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 September 2012 quarter there were strong increases in both residential and non-residential building activity in Canterbury. This follows a strong increase in earthquake-related residential building activity in the previous quarter. 

Value of Building Work Put in Place: December 2012 quarter will be published on 6 March 2013.

Annual value of all consented buildings rises 18 percent in 2012 year

For the December 2012 year, compared with the December 2011 year, the value of consents increased for:

  • all buildings, up $1,510 million (18 percent) to $10,075 million
  • residential buildings, up $1,252 million (25 percent) to $6,177 million
  • non-residential buildings, up $258 million (7.1 percent) to $3,898 million.
Graph, Value of buildings consented, including alterations and additions, year ended December, 2010 to 2012.

Graph, Value of buildings consented, including alterations and additions, monthly, December 2010 to December 2012.

In the December 2012 month, the value of consents for all buildings (both residential and non-residential) was $826 million, up 5.8 percent compared with December 2011. Residential buildings contributed $44 million of the $45 million increase. The trend for the value of all buildings began increasing after May 2011 but has flattened in recent months.

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

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