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Building Consents Issued: January 2013
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  28 February 2013
Commentary

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

New dwellings trend continues to grow

There were 1,312 new dwellings (including apartments) consented in January 2013. Since the latest low point in March 2011, the trend for the number of new dwellings consented (including apartments) has increased 50 percent. The trend for new non-apartment dwellings has also increased 50 percent during the same period.

Dwelling consent numbers in January 2013, compared with January 2012, were:

  • 1,312 new dwellings, including apartments (up 19 percent)
  • 1,254 new dwellings, excluding apartments (up 39 percent)
  • 58 new apartments (down 140 from 198).

Of the apartments, 28 were retirement village units.

The seasonally adjusted number of new non-apartment dwellings consented increased 9.6 percent in January 2013. Conversely, when apartments are included, the seasonally adjusted number of all new dwellings slipped by 0.4 percent. This decrease was due to January's relatively low number of apartments, which tend to vary a lot from month to month.

Graph, New dwellings consented, including apartments, monthly, December 2005 to January 2013.

In January 2013, the value of all residential building consents was $517 million, 34 percent higher than in January 2012. This includes a $91 million (29 percent) increase in the value of new dwellings, and a $39 million (58 percent) increase in the value of dwelling alterations and additions. The latter includes $18 million for seismic strengthening and upgrade work to Berkeley Dallard Apartments for Wellington City Council.

The trend for the value of residential buildings has been rising for 21 consecutive months, and is now 46 percent higher than at the most recent low point of April 2011. 

Auckland and Canterbury regions continue to contribute half of new dwellings

Together, the Auckland and Canterbury regions contributed over half of total new dwellings in January 2013, as they have almost every month since January 2012. This month, Auckland consented 372 new dwellings and Canterbury consented 378. These 750 dwellings made up 57 percent of the 1,312 national total.

The Auckland region had the largest increase in new dwellings consented in January 2013, up 140 (60 percent) from just 232 in January 2012. The main contributors to this increase, were from the former:

  • Auckland city, up 42 from January 2012, to 83
  • Rodney district, up 29 to 100
  • Papakura district, up 28 to 51
  • Waitakere city, up 21 to 52.

Note that the Auckland Council was formed on 1 November 2010 from seven former cities and districts.

There were 378 new dwellings consented in the Canterbury region in January 2013, the largest number for any region, although there was actually one less dwelling than in January 2012. The biggest contributors of new dwellings in the Canterbury region were:

  • Christchurch city, down 57 from January 2012, to 152
  • Waimakariri district, up 36 to 103
  • Selwyn district, up 9 to 58
  • Ashburton district, up 9 to 20. 

Regions with the next-largest increases in the number of new dwellings consented in January 2013, compared with January 2012 were:

  • Wellington region, up 31 (51 percent) to 92
  • Bay of Plenty, up 26 (42 percent) to 88.

 

Graph, New dwellings consented, by region, January month, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

For January 2013 compared with January 2012:

  • Six of the nine North Island regions consented more new dwellings, and the total increased by 211 (35 percent) to 806. 
  • Five of the seven South Island regions consented fewer new dwellings, and the total increased by just 3 (0.6 percent) to 506.

Value of non-residential buildings eases 

The value of non-residential building consents in January 2013 was $223 million, down 1.4 percent compared with January 2012.

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

  • storage buildings, up $16 million
  • shops, restaurants, and taverns, down $29 million.

Graph, Value of non-residential buildings consented, by building type (including alterations and additions), January month, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

As shown by the darkest bars in the graph above, the three largest contributors to the value of non-residential buildings in January 2013 were:

  • education buildings, at 20 percent
  • offices and administration buildings, at 19 percent
  • storage buildings, at 12 percent.  

Earthquake-related consents in Canterbury boosted by bridge

Canterbury consents identified as being earthquake-related totalled $60 million in January 2013. In recent months, the monthly value has ranged from $45 million to $59 million.

Of the $60 million recorded for January, $28 million was for residential buildings, including 60 new dwellings. A further $14 million was for non-residential building work and $18 million was for non-building construction, almost all of which was for the Ferrymead Bridge in Christchurch. See also Earthquake-related building consents in Canterbury.

Since 4 September 2010, more than 3,700 earthquake-related consents have been identified in Canterbury, totalling $853 million. This includes 659 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.

Value of all consented buildings up 21 percent

In January 2013, the value of consents for all buildings (both residential and non-residential) was $740 million, up 21 percent compared with January 2012. All of the growth came from residential buildings.

The trend for the value of all buildings has decreased slightly in the last three months, following over a year of moderate growth. The trend is subject to change when data for future months is added to the series.

Graph, Value of buildings consented, including alterations and additions, monthly, December 2010 to January 2013.

 Graph, Value of buildings consented, including alterations and additions, year ended January, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

For the year to January 2013, compared with the January 2012 year, the value of consents increased for:

  • all buildings, up $1,563 million (18 percent) to $10,203 million
  • residential buildings, up $1,307 million (26 percent) to $6,308 million
  • non-residential buildings, up $256 million (7.0 percent) to $3,895 million.

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

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