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Building Consents Issued: October 2012
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  30 November 2012

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

Highest number of new dwellings for over four years 

In October 2012, 1,639 new dwellings (including apartments) were consented, the highest number in a month since May 2008 (1,653 new dwellings).

New dwelling consent numbers in October 2012, compared with October 2011, were:

  • 1,639 new dwellings, including apartments (up 32 percent)
  • 1,471 new dwellings, excluding apartments (up 28 percent)
  • 168 new apartments (up from 89).

Of the apartments, 129 were retirement village units (up from 18 in October 2011). 

Following a moderate increase in September 2012, the seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings, both including and excluding apartments, showed small decreases in October 2012. The number of new dwellings, including apartments, was down 1.5 percent; the number of new dwellings, excluding apartments, was down 2.0 percent.

See the Data Quality section for more information about seasonally adjusted series and trading day adjustments.

Despite the seasonally adjusted falls, the trend series for the number of new dwellings, both including and excluding apartments, increased in October 2012. Both trends have been growing for 19 months. 

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

In October 2012, the value of all residential building consents was $593 million, 29 percent higher than in October 2011. All the growth continues to come from new dwellings, although the total includes $111 million of alterations and other residential work. The value trend has been growing for 18 consecutive months, and is now 46 percent higher than the most recent low point of April 2011.

Canterbury region and apartments lift overall number of new dwellings

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

  • Canterbury, up 122 (58 percent) to 333
  • Manawatu-Wanganui, up 72 (206 percent) to 107
  • Bay of Plenty, up 61 (82 percent) to 135
  • Otago, up 48 (81 percent) to 107. 

Apartment numbers can vary a lot from month to month. This month, 61 apartments were consented in Manawatu-Wanganui, 45 in Bay of Plenty and 23 in Otago. All of these were retirement village units. In October 2011, no apartments were consented in any of these regions.  

Six of the nine North Island regions reported increased numbers of new dwellings in October 2012, compared with October 2011. The North Island total was up 207 (23 percent) to 1,095. Across the South Island, the number of new dwellings consented was 544, up 194 (55 percent). 

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

  • Christchurch city, up 54 to 121
  • Selwyn district, up 45 to 81
  • Waimakariri district, down 2 to 64.

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

Strong increase in value of non-residential buildings 

The value of non-residential building consents in October 2012 was $392 million, up $116 million (42 percent) compared with October 2011.

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

  • storage buildings, up $32 million (116 percent)
  • offices and administration buildings, up $29 million (67 percent)
  • hostels and boarding houses, up $20 million (561 percent).

 Graph, Value of non-residential buildings consented, by building type (including alterations and additions), October 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 October 2012 were:

  • offices and administration buildings, at 18 percent
  • shops, restaurants, and taverns, at 16 percent
  • storage buildings, at 15 percent.  

In Canterbury, the value of non-residential building work was $118 million in October 2012, comprising $94 million of new construction and $24 million of alterations and additions. This is the highest value in a month since April 2009, when the Christchurch International Airport development was consented.

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

  • Auckland – $112 million 
  • Wellington – $41 million
  • Waikato – $30 million.

Canterbury gains 45 new earthquake-related dwellings

Canterbury consents identified as being earthquake-related totalled $52 million in October 2012. So far this year, the monthly value has ranged from $25 million to $59 million.

Of the $52 million recorded for October, $25 million was for residential buildings, including 45 new dwellings. A further $26 million was for non-residential building work. See also earthquake-related building consents in Canterbury.

Since 4 September 2010, almost 3,200 earthquake-related consents have been identified in Canterbury, totalling $689 million. This includes 526 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 June 2012 quarter there appeared to be a greater increase in building activity in Canterbury than in the rest of the country. This is only an indication of the effect of the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, as the survey is designed for accuracy at the national level, not regionally.

Value of Building Work Put in Place: September 2012 quarter will be published on 5 December 2012.

Value of all buildings rises

In October 2012, the value of consents for all buildings (both residential and non-residential) was $984 million, up 34 percent compared with October 2011. October 2012's value was the highest for almost two years, since November 2010 when it was $993 million. The trend for the value of all buildings has been growing for 17 months.

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

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

  • all buildings, up $1,338 million (16 percent) to $9,896 million
  • residential buildings, up $1,145 million (24 percent) to $6,004 million
  • non-residential buildings, up $194 million (5.2 percent) to $3,891 million.

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

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