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Building Consents Issued: November 2010
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  11 January 2011

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.

Residential buildings

Figures given are unadjusted unless otherwise stated. In November 2010 compared with November 2009, consents were issued for:

  • 1,470 new dwelling units, including apartments, down 2.0 percent
  • 1,244 new dwelling units, excluding apartments, down 15 percent 
  • 226 new apartment units, up 184 units (154 are assisted living apartments associated with retirement villages).

Consents for apartments accounted for 15 percent of the number of new dwellings authorised in November 2010, compared with a monthly average of 4.7 percent for the previous 12 months. Apartment numbers can vary considerably from month to month. 

The seasonally adjusted number of new dwelling units authorised, including apartments, rose 8.8 percent in November 2010, following a fall of 1.8 percent in October 2010. The trend has fallen steadily, declining 17 percent since April 2010, following increases that began in February 2009. As shown in the graph below, the trend level is 58 percent lower than the series peak in January 2004. 

 Graph, New dwellings authorised, Including apartment units, monthly, 2003-10.

Excluding apartments, the seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings authorised in November 2010 fell 2.6 percent. The trend has fallen steadily, declining 22 percent since the recent peak in March 2010. The current level is 53 percent lower than the series peak in September 2003. 

The value of residential building consents was $514 million in November 2010, down 4.4 percent compared with November 2009. The trend has been declining since April 2010, and has fallen 14 percent over this period. 

Regional residential results

Fewer new dwelling units were authorised in nine of New Zealand’s 16 regions in November 2010 compared with November 2009. In November 2010, numbers fell by 66 units (6.4 percent) in the North Island and rose by 36 units (7.6 percent) in the South Island. 

The three regions with the largest decreases from November 2009 were:

  • Hawke's Bay, down 26 units to 51
  • Waikato, down 23 units to 167
  • Northland, down 16 units to 68.

 Graph, New dwellings authorised, by region, monthly, 2008-10.

In Canterbury, there were a small number of earthquake-related consents identified in November 2010. The total value of these was $2.3 million. Two of these were for new dwellings.

Changes to Auckland

From 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 (TAs); all of 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.

In the 'Tables' section of this release, two tables provide a geographical breakdown. Table 3 contains the number and value of new dwellings authorised by region, and table 4 contains the number of new dwellings authorised by TA.

In table 3, for both the November 2010 and December 2010 Building Consents Issued releases, there will be no change so the data reported will be for the old Auckland region. For the purposes of measuring new dwellings authorised the old Auckland region is a very close approximation of the new Auckland region. Changes in the boundries for the Auckland region (and Waikato region) will be reflected in the data included in the release of Building Consents Issued: January 2011 on 28 February 2011. From November 2010, table 4 includes an accurate figure for the new Auckland Council; before November 2010, the Auckland region (included in table 3) can be used to approximate this.

As a result, there may be a small difference between the figures reported for the Auckland region (table 3) and the new Auckland Council (table 4) for November and December 2010. For example, in November 2010 the former Auckland region in table 3 has 362 new dwellings, while the new Auckland Council in table 4 has 363 new dwellings.

From November 2010, figures for Franklin District (table 4) will include only the part of this former TA that is within the new Auckland Council area (the remainder will be included within either Waikato or Hauraki districts). The six other former TAs making up the new Auckland council are unchanged in area.

The new Auckland Council area is large, and to retain a meaningful breakdown of consents issued, Statistics NZ will continue to publish figures in table 4 for the seven former TAs until an alternative grouping is identified.

Non-residential buildings

The value of non-residential building consents was $479 million in November 2010, up 23 percent compared with November 2009. This is the highest value since May 2009. Six of the 11 building types recorded increases in value.

The four building types with the largest changes from November 2009 were:

  • education buildings, up $72 million
  • factories and industrial buildings, up $60 million
  • hospitals and nursing homes, down $56 million
  • offices and administration buildings, down $56 million.

 Graph, Value of non-residential buildings authorised, by building type, monthly, 2008-10.

The three largest contributors to the value of non-residential building consents authorised for November 2010 were:

  • education buildings, at 25 percent
  • factories and industrial buildings, at 21 percent
  • shops, restaurants, and taverns, at 13 percent.

The monthly trend series for the value of non-residential buildings has been removed from the 'Tables' section and Infoshare for further analysis. The trend series is estimated after the removal of consents valued at $25 million or more. Statistics NZ has reviewed this practice, and a new monthly trend estimate will be available in the release of Building Consents Issued: December 2010 on 31 January 2011.

All buildings

In the November 2010 month, the value of consents issued for all buildings was $993 million, up 7.2 percent compared with November 2009. This is the highest value since September 2008.

 Graph, Monthly values, Including alterations and additions, 2008-10.    Graph, Annual values, including alterations and additions, year ended November, 2008-2010.


For the year ended November 2010 compared with the year ended November 2009, the total value of consents issued for:

  • all buildings was $9,536 million, down $32 million (0.3 percent)
  • residential buildings was $5,700 million, up $637 million (13 percent)
  • non-residential buildings was $3,836 million, down $669 million (15 percent).


For technical information contact: 
Clara Eatherley or Tina Waterhouse
Christchurch 03 964 8700

Next release ...

Building Consents Issued: December 2010 will be released on 31 January 2011.

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