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Building Consents Issued: March 2011
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  04 May 2011
Commentary

Building consent values include goods and services tax (GST), which increased from 12.5 percent to 15 percent from 1 October 2010. It is not possible to separate the impact of this change on building consent statistics.

Figures given are unadjusted unless otherwise stated.

Residential buildings

March 2011 month

In March 2011, compared with March 2010, consents were issued for:

  • 1,087 new dwelling units, including apartments, down 28 percent
  • 1,047 new dwelling units, excluding apartments, down 27 percent
  • 40 new apartment units, down 47 percent (apartment numbers can vary considerably from month to month).

The seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings authorised, including apartments, rose 2.2 percent in March 2011, following a 9.8 percent fall in February and other large changes in recent months. Excluding apartments, the pattern is similar.

 Graph, new dwellings authorised, including apartment units, monthly.

The trend for the number of new dwellings authorised, including apartments, has declined steadily since April 2010, down 28 percent to the lowest level since the series began in January 1982.

The value of residential building consents was $420 million in March 2011, down 20 percent compared with March 2010. The value trend has been declining for almost a year, falling 22 percent over this time.

Year ended March 2011

For the year ended March 2011, compared with the previous year, consents for:

  • new dwelling units, including apartments, fell 5.0 percent to 14,611 (the lowest annual total for a March year since 1981)
  • new dwelling units, excluding apartments, fell 4.1 percent to 13,583 (the lowest annual total for a March year since the 'excluding apartments' series began in 1991)
  • new apartment units fell 15 percent to 1,028 (the lowest annual total for a March year since 1996).

The value of residential buildings was $5,300 million, down 2.1 percent compared with the year ended March 2010. 

Regional residential results

March 2011 month

Fewer new dwelling units were authorised in 12 of New Zealand’s 16 regions in March 2011 compared with March 2010. In March 2011, numbers fell by 175 units (18 percent) in the North Island, and by 239 units (44 percent) in the South Island.

The three regions with the largest decreases from March 2010 were:

  • Canterbury, down 161 units to 166 (43 apartments were authorised in March 2010 and none in March 2011)
  • Waikato, down 78 units to 127
  • Otago, down 41 units to 59. 

All increases were small in comparison – the largest was in Gisborne, up nine units to a total of 18.

Graph, new dwellings authorised, by region, monthly.  

In Canterbury, about 20 earthquake-related consents were identified, with a combined value of $11 million, including two new dwellings.

Building consents are often used as an early indicator of building activity. The extent of the damage to Christchurch and surrounding areas following the earthquake on 22 February means the relationship between consents and activity (for example, as measured by Statistics New Zealand's quarterly estimated value of building work put in place) may change, even at the national level.

Year ended March 2011

For the year ended March 2011, compared with the previous year, fewer new dwellings were authorised in 10 of New Zealand’s 16 regions. Numbers fell by 493 units (4.7 percent) in the North Island and by 277 units (5.7 percent) in the South Island.

As shown by the dark bars in the graph below, the regions authorising the largest numbers of new dwellings were:

  • Auckland, down 1.4 percent, to 3,579 units
  • Canterbury, down 7.4 percent, to 2,526 units
  • Waikato, down 7.9 percent, to 1,762 units.

Graph, new dwellings authorised, by region, annual.  

Changes to Auckland region

On 1 November 2010, the new Auckland Council came into being. This council replaces both the former Auckland Regional Council and all or part of seven territorial authorities – all the North Shore, Waitakere, Auckland, and Manukau cities, the Rodney and Papakura districts, and part of the Franklin district are included in the new council area. For more information, see Building Consents Issued: November 2010.

Non-residential buildings

March 2011 month

The value of non-residential building consents was $344 million in March 2011, down 0.2 percent compared with March 2010. Six of the 11 building types recorded decreases in value.

The four building types with the largest change from March 2010 were:

  • education buildings, up $28 million
  • storage buildings, down $26 million
  • hotels and other short-term accommodation, up $21 million
  • hospitals and nursing homes, down $21 million.

 Graph, value of non-residential buildings authorised, by building type (including alterations and additions), monthly, 2009–11.

Education buildings contributed 26 percent to the value of non-residential buildings authorised in the March 2011 month, followed by 'shops, restaurants, and taverns', at 17 percent.

March 2011 quarter

The trend for the value of non-residential building consents authorised for the March 2011 quarter shows a small decrease; however this cannot be confirmed until more data becomes available. While quarterly figures are more stable than monthly ones, non-residential building consents are volatile with no stable seasonal pattern, and therefore a stable trend is slow to emerge – see table 5 for more information.

 Graph, value of non-residential buildings authorised, including alterations and additions, quarterly, 2004–11.

Year ended March 2011

The value of non-residential building consents was $3,708 million in the year ended March 2011, down 14 percent compared with the year ended March 2010. Seven of the 11 building types recorded decreases in value.

The three building types with the largest change from the year ended March 2010 were:

  • offices and administration buildings, down $512 million
  • social, cultural, and religious buildings, down $189 million
  • factories and industrial buildings, up $134 million.

 Graph, value of non-residential buildings authorised, by building type (including alterations and additions), year ended March, 2009–11.

Education buildings contributed 19 percent to the value of non-residential buildings authorised in the year ended March 2011, followed by 'shops, restaurants, and taverns', at 15 percent.

All buildings

In the March 2011 month, the value of consents issued for all buildings was $764 million, down 12 percent compared with March 2010.

 Graph, monthly values, including alterations and additions, 2009–11.    Graph, annual values, including alterations and additions, year ended March, 2009–11.

For the year ended March 2011, compared with the year ended March 2010, the total value of consents issued for:

  • all buildings was $9,008 million, down $740 million (7.6 percent)
  • residential buildings was $5,300 million, down $115 million (2.1 percent)
  • non-residential buildings was $3,708 million, down $626 million (14 percent). 
     

For technical information contact: 
Tina Waterhouse or Clara Eatherley
Wellington 04 931 4600
Email: info@stats.govt.nz

Next release ...

Building Consents Issued: April 2011 will be released on 3 June 2011.

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