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Building Consents Issued: October 2010
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  30 November 2010

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 from other factors.

Residential buildings

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

  • 1,123 new dwelling units, including apartments, down 21 percent
  • 1,099 new dwelling units, excluding apartments, down 17 percent 
  • 24 new apartment units, down 77 percent.

Apartments contributed 2.1 percent to the number of new dwellings authorised in October 2010, compared with a monthly average of 5.1 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, fell 2.0 percent in October 2010, following a small rise of 0.2 percent in September 2010. The trend has fallen steadily, declining 18 percent since April 2010, following increases that began in February 2009. As shown in the graph below, the trend level is 59 percent lower than the series peak in January 2004. 

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

Excluding apartments, the seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings authorised in October 2010 fell 1.1 percent, and has fallen for the fourth consecutive month, down to the lowest point since July 2009.

The trend for the number of new dwellings authorised, excluding apartments, has also fallen steadily, declining 20 percent  since March 2010. The current level is 19 percent higher than the recent low in March 2009, but is 46 percent lower than the June 2007 level, before the economic downturn.

The value of residential building consents was $415 million in October 2010, down 14 percent compared with October 2009. The trend value has been declining since April 2010, and has fallen 14 percent over this period. 

Regional residential results

Fewer new dwelling units were authorised in 12 of New Zealand’s 16 regions in October 2010 compared with October 2009. In October 2010, numbers fell by 227 units (24 percent) in the North Island and by 74 units (16 percent) in the South Island. 

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

  • Otago, down 64 units to 63 (50 fewer new apartments were authorised)
  • Waikato, down 57 units to 137
  • Northland, down 41 units to 36.

Graph, new dwellings authorised, by region, monthly.

The four regions authorising more new dwellings had small increases (of seven units or less).

In Canterbury, a small number of low-value consents authorised in October 2010 were related to the earthquake. None of these were for new dwellings.

Non-residential buildings

The value of non-residential building consents was $272 million in October 2010, down 17 percent compared with October 2009. Six of the 11 building types recorded decreases in value.

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

  • social, cultural, and religious buildings, down $58 million
  • offices and administration buildings, down $31 million
  • factories and industrial buildings, up $25 million
  • shops, restaurants, and taverns, up $20 million.

Graph, value of non-residential buildings authorised, including alterations and additions, monthly.

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

  • shops, restaurants, and taverns, at 21 percent
  • education buildings, at 20 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, and Statistics New Zealand is reviewing this practice. The monthly series is available on request.

All buildings

In the October 2010 month, the value of consents issued for all buildings was $687 million, down 15 percent compared with October 2009.

 Graph, monthly values, including alterations and additions.    Graph, annual values, including alterations and additions, year ended October.


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

  • all buildings was $9,469 million, down $25 million (0.3 percent)
  • residential buildings was $5,724 million, up $743 million (15 percent)
  • non-residential buildings was $3,746 million, down $768 million (17 percent).


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

Next release ...

Building Consents Issued: November 2010 will be released on 11 January 2011.

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