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Building Consents Issued: July 2012
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  30 August 2012

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

July month five-year high in residential building consent numbers

In July 2012, the number of new dwellings consented was the highest for a July month since 2007. Consents were issued for:

  • 1,478 new dwellings, including apartments (up 26 percent)
  • 1,243 new dwellings, excluding apartments (up 20 percent)
  • 235 new apartments, 70 of which were retirement village units (up from 130 apartments).

The number of apartments consented in July 2012 was the highest since May 2009.

After seasonal fluctuations are removed, the number of approved new dwellings, including apartments, increased 2.0 percent in July 2012 compared with June 2012. Excluding apartments, there was a decrease of 2.5 percent.

The trends for the number of new dwellings, both including and excluding apartments, seem to be flattening, after rising during much of 2011 and 2012. 

Graph, New dwellings approved, including apartments.  

In July 2012, compared with July 2011, the value of total residential building consents rose $104 million (25 percent) to $520 million. This was $29 million (6.0 percent) higher than two years ago in July 2010. The value trend has increased 30 percent since the most-recent low point in April 2011, but appears to be flattening. 

Apartments boost increase in new dwelling numbers

The 26 percent national increase in new dwelling consent numbers for the July 2012 month, compared with July 2011, was boosted by 235 apartments, mostly in Auckland and Canterbury. Of the 408 new dwellings consented in Auckland, 145 were apartments. There were 70 retirement village units consented in Canterbury and 20 apartments in Wellington.

The number of new dwellings consented in Canterbury increased by 207 (126 percent) and in Auckland by 65 (19 percent). Canterbury had recorded 164 new dwelling consents in July 2011, the lowest July month since the series began in 1990. The 371 new dwelling consents in Canterbury in July 2012 is the highest July month since 2007, and almost half of these were in Christchurch city.

The number of new dwellings in Canterbury was notable for:

  • Christchurch city, up 97 to 163, including 70 retirement village units
  • Waimakariri district, up 79 to 100
  • Selwyn district, up 24 to 63.

Ten of the 16 regions reported increased or no change in consent numbers in July 2012, compared with July 2011.

 Graph, New dwellings approved, by region.

Non-residential building value steady

In July 2012, the value of non-residential building consents was $346 million, almost unchanged compared with July 2011.

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

  • factories and industrial buildings, up $57 million (209 percent)
  • shops, restaurants, and taverns, up $24 million (59 percent)
  • offices and administration buildings, up $19 million (47 percent).

The only major decrease was hospitals and nursing homes, down $97 million (80 percent). In July 2011 there was a $105 million consent for work on Middlemore Hospital in Auckland.

 Graph, Value of non-residential buildings approved, by building type.

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

  • factories and industrial buildings, at 24 percent
  • shops, restaurants, and taverns, at 19 percent
  • offices and administration buildings, at 17 percent.

July year non-residential building value up in Canterbury

In the year ended July 2012, the value of non-residential building consents, including alterations and additions, decreased 1.2 percent to $3,712 million across New Zealand. Canterbury reported substantial growth while other regions reported decreases. The changes in value for the year ended July 2012, over the year ended July 2011, for selected regions were:

  • Canterbury, up $348 million (78 percent) to $796 million
  • Auckland, down $143 million (10 percent) to $1,244 million
  • Wellington, down $123 million (28 percent) to $319 million.  

 Graph, Value of non-residential building consents approved, for selected regions.

Canterbury earthquake-related consents at record high

Canterbury consents identified as being earthquake-related totalled $59 million in July 2012, the highest monthly total since the Canterbury earthquakes began in September 2010. This result compares with:

  • $45 million in June 2012
  • $47 million in May 2012
  • $28 million in April 2012.

Of the $59 million recorded for July, $41 million was for non-residential buildings, and $18 million was for residential buildings (including 33 new dwellings). See also earthquake-related building consents in Canterbury.

Since 4 September 2010, there have been more than 2,400 Canterbury earthquake-related consents identified, totalling $532 million. This includes 395 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 and March 2012 quarters, 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: June 2012 quarter will be published on 5 September 2012.

Value for all buildings up

In July 2012, the value of consents issued for all buildings (residential and non-residential combined) was $866 million, up 14 percent compared with July 2011.

The trend for the value of all building consents (residential and non-residential combined) continues to rise.

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

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

  • all buildings increased $722 million (8.4 percent) to $9,338 million
  • residential buildings increased $769 million (16 percent) to $5,627 million
  • non-residential buildings decreased $46 million (1.2 percent) to $3,712 million.

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

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