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Building Consents Issued: November 2012
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  09 January 2013

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

New dwellings trend continues to grow

In November 2012, 1,658 new dwellings (including apartments) were consented. It was the 20th consecutive month of growth in the trend for the number of new dwellings. The trend for the number of new dwellings consented, including apartments, was 45 percent higher than the most recent low point in March 2011. The trend number excluding apartments has grown by 41 percent over the same period.

The numbers of new dwellings consented in November 2012, compared with November 2011, were:

  • 1,658 new dwellings, including apartments (up 20 percent)
  • 1,619 new dwellings, excluding apartments (up 27 percent) – the highest since February 2008
  • 39 new apartments (down 70 from 109).

All of the apartments were retirement village units, both this month and in November 2011. 

The seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings, excluding apartments, increased by 4.6 percent in November 2012. Including apartments, the seasonally adjusted number was down 5.4 percent. Apartment numbers can vary a lot from month to month, as reflected in the graph below.

  Graph, New dwellings consented, including apartments, monthly, September 2005 to November 2012.

In November 2012, the value of all residential building consents was $633 million, 26 percent higher than in November 2011 and 23 percent higher than in November 2010. New dwellings continue to drive the value increase.

New dwellings contributed $524 million (83 percent) of the total residential buildings value in November 2012. The remaining $109 million (17 percent) came from alterations, additions, and other residential work.

Graph, Residential buildings consented, monthly values, September 2010 to November 2012.

The residential buildings value trend for has been growing for 19 consecutive months, and is now 47 percent higher than the most recent low point of April 2011.

Canterbury and Otago regions drive new dwellings growth

Compared with November 2011, the number of new dwellings consented in November 2012 increased most in Canterbury and Otago. The number of new dwellings rose most in:

  • Canterbury, up 171 (71 percent) to 413, the highest for over five years
  • Otago, up 49 (65 percent) to 124, from both Queenstown (up 26) and Dunedin (up 24)
  • Tasman, up 19 (112 percent) to 36.   

Auckland region continues to lead with the highest number of new dwellings consented, 432 this month, up just two from November 2011 but up 70 (19 percent) from November 2010.

Graph, New dwellings consented, by region, November month, 2010 to 2012.  

Eight of the nine North Island regions reported increased numbers of new dwellings consented in November 2012, compared with November 2011. The North Island total was up 50 (5.2 percent) to 1,010. In the South Island, five of the seven regions increased the number of new dwellings, and the South Island total was 648, up 229 (55 percent). 

The numbers of new dwellings consented in Christchurch and surrounding districts were:

  • Christchurch city, up 79 to 141
  • Selwyn district, up 55 to 102 – the highest number for Selwyn since the series began in April 1990
  • Waimakariri district, up 37 to 112.

In November 2012 only 39 apartments were consented. All of the apartments were retirement village units; 21 in Hawke's Bay and 18 in Canterbury.

Value of non-residential buildings steady 

The value of non-residential building consents in November 2012 was $420 million, up $5 million (1.3 percent) compared with November 2011.

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

  • hostels and boarding houses, up $39 million – boosted by a large consent for a men's prison in Manukau city
  • factories and industrial buildings, up $17 million (46 percent)
  • storage buildings, up $11 million (41 percent).

 Graph, Value of non-residential buildings consented, by building type (including alterations and additions), November month, 2010 to 2012.

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

  • offices and administration buildings, at 20 percent
  • shops, restaurants, and taverns, at 14 percent
  • education buildings, at 14 percent.  

Two regions contributed 65 percent of the value of non-residential building work in November 2012, Auckland with $149 million (36 percent), and Canterbury with $125 million (30 percent). 

The value of consents for non-residential building work in the three next largest regions in November 2012 was:

  • Wellington – $40 million
  • Waikato – $19 million
  • Otago – $19 million.

Consents for 39 new earthquake-related dwellings in Canterbury

Canterbury consents identified as being earthquake-related totalled $59 million in November 2012. So far this year, the monthly value has ranged from $25 million to $59 million.

Of the $59 million recorded for November, $25 million was for residential buildings, including 39 new dwellings. A further $33 million was for non-residential building work. See also Earthquake-related building consents in Canterbury.

Since 4 September 2010, almost 3,400 earthquake-related consents have been identified in Canterbury, totalling $749 million. This includes 565 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.

Annual value of all buildings consented tops $10 billion

The value of all buildings consented for the year ended November 2012 was $10,030 million, 18 percent higher than the November 2011 year. 

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

  • all buildings, up $1,546 million (18 percent) to $10,030 million
  • residential buildings, up $1,283 million (26 percent) to $6,133 million
  • non-residential buildings, up $263 million (7.2 percent) to $3,897 million.
Graph, Value of buildings consented, including alterations and additions, year ended November, 2010 to 2012.

Graph, Value of buildings consented, including alterations and additions, monthly, September 2010 to November 2012.

In November 2012, the value of consents for all buildings (both residential and non-residential) was $1,053 million, up 15 percent compared with November 2011. Residential buildings contributed $129 million of the $134 million increase. The trend for the value of all buildings has been growing for 18 months.

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

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