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Building Consents Issued: May 2011
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  30 June 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

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

  • 1,139 new dwelling units, including apartments, down 16 percent
  • 1,073 new dwellings, excluding apartments, down 20 percent
  • 66 new apartment units, up 39 units.

The numbers above show that consents are down from May 2010, but the seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings authorised, excluding apartments, has been rising for the past three months, with a 0.9 percent increase in May 2011, following rises of 3.7 percent in April and 4.2 percent in March. The trend for the number of new dwellings authorised, excluding apartments, appears to have reached a turning point, following decreases that began in April 2010. However, trend values are subject to revision each month and caution should be used until more data becomes available. 

The number of new dwellings, including apartments, shows a slightly different picture, with the seasonally adjusted figure rising 2.2 percent in May 2011, following a fall of 1.2 percent in April and a rise of 2.5 percent in March. The trend has continued falling and is at its lowest level since this series began in 1982. However, the rate of decline has been easing in the past few months.

 Graph, New dwellings authorised, excluding apartment units, monthly.

Compared with May 2010, the value of residential building consents in May 2011 fell $93 million (19 percent) to $389 million. The value trend has been declining for over a year, falling 24 percent over this time. The rate of decline has been easing over recent months.

 Graph, Value of residential buildings authorised, including alterations and additions, monthly.

Regional residential results

In May 2011 compared with May 2010, the number of new dwelling units authorised in the North Island fell by almost a quarter (down 222 units or 24 percent), while the South Island remained at a similar level (up 1 unit or 0.2 percent). The regions with the largest decreases were:

  • Auckland, down 85 units to 236
  • Wellington, down 52 units to 89
  • Waikato, down 39 units to 163
  • Taranaki, down 37 units to 30.

Six of the 16 regions had more new dwelling units authorised, with Canterbury (up 14 units to 251) and Otago (up 10 units to 85) showing the largest increases. 

 Graph, New dwellings authorised, by region, monthly.

Non-residential buildings

The value of non-residential building consents was $350 million in May 2011, up 17 percent compared with May 2010. Six of the 11 building types recorded increases in value.

The three building types with the largest increases since May 2010 were:

  • hospitals and nursing homes, up $56 million
  • shops, restaurants, and taverns, up $43 million 
  • education buildings, up $18 million.

The largest decrease was for social, cultural, and religious buildings, down $56 million compared with May 2010. There was a revision upwards of $10 million for May 2010 to social, cultural, and religious buildings, but this category would still have seen the largest decrease even without this revision.

The largest contributors to the value of non-residential building consents authorised for May 2011 were:

  • shops, restaurants, and taverns, at 22 percent
  • hospitals and nursing homes, at 20 percent
  • education buildings, at 14 percent.

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

Canterbury earthquake consents

In Canterbury, earthquake-related consents have seen a big increase in the latest month. A total of $28 million of earthquake-related consents were identified in May 2011, with $9 million of residential consents and $19 million of non-residential consents. This is the largest total monthly value of earthquake-related consents identified, and accounts for almost half the value of all consents related to the Canterbury earthquakes since they began in September 2010. 

Of these earthquake-related consents, there were 68 new dwellings, 63 of which were relocatable units intended to house displaced residents. From September 2010, 89 new earthquake-related dwellings have been identified, so the figure for May 2011 makes up over three-quarters of all new dwellings related to the earthquakes.

From September 2010, over 250 earthquake-related consents were identified, totalling $62 million. Earthquake-related consents cover residential, non-residential, and non-building construction. Non-building construction includes things like retaining walls and swimming pools. Consents for demolitions, where issued, are excluded.

Building consents are often used as an early indicator of building activity. The extent of the damage to Christchurch and surrounding areas, particularly following the earthquake on 22 February 2011, means the relationship between consents and activity (for example, as measured by Statistics NZ's quarterly estimated Value of Building Work Put in Place) may change, even at the national level. The next Value of Building Work Put in Place information release will be published on 8 September 2011.

All buildings

In the May 2011 month, the value of consents issued for all buildings was $739 million, down 5.3 percent compared with May 2010.

Graph, Value of building consents authorised, including alterations and additions, monthly. Graph, Value of building consents authorised, including alterations and additions, year ended May.

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

  • all buildings was $8,776 million, down $788 million (8.2 percent)
  • residential buildings was $5,081 million, down $533 million (9.5 percent)
  • non-residential buildings was $3,695 million, down $255 million (6.5 percent).

Revisions

A revision to the May 2010 social, cultural, and religious building type has been made as a result of updated respondent information. The value figures for social, cultural, and religious buildings, total non-residential buildings, total all buildings, total authorisations issued, and the floor area for total non-residential buildings have been revised for the May 2010 month.

Series name

Series ref:
BLD

Published on 29 June 2010 Published on 30 June 2011
Social, cultural, and religious buildings – value SDH92MZ $62 million $72 million
Total non-residential buildings – value SDO92MZ $289 million $299 million
Total all buildings – value SDP92MZ $770 million $780 million
Total authorisations issued – value SDR92MZ $810 million $820 million
Total non-residential buildings – floor area SAO13MZ 156,000m2 159,000m2

 

For technical information contact:
Tina Waterhouse or Karen MacKenzie
Christchurch 03 964 8700
Email: info@stats.govt.nz

Next release ...

Building Consents Issued: June 2011 will be released on 29 July 2011.

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