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Low consent levels but decline easing
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  03 June 2011

Building Consents Issued: April 2011  –  Media Release

There were 893 new homes, excluding apartments, authorised in April 2011, down 32 percent compared with April 2010, Statistics New Zealand said today. These figures are consistent with the longer-term picture provided by the trend, which has fallen nearly one-third since March 2010. However, data for recent months shows the rate of decline is easing. 

"While the overall level of consents is low, with many series still decreasing, there are signs that the decline in residential building consents is easing," business statistics manager Kathy Connolly said. "When the volatile apartment numbers are excluded, and after adjusting for seasonal factors, there have been increases of more than 3 percent in each of the latest two months."

For new homes authorised, including apartments, the picture is similar but with some key differences. In April 2011: 

  • There were 927 new homes authorised, down 34 percent compared with April 2010.
  • The trend has fallen nearly one-third since April 2010, to the lowest level since this series began in 1982. The rate of decline is also easing, but to a lesser degree.
  • The seasonally adjusted number fell 1.6 percent, following a 2.0 percent rise in March 2011.

Only one of New Zealand's 16 regions (Tasman) had more new homes authorised in April 2011 compared with April 2010. The largest fall was in Canterbury, at 68 fewer new homes, but similar-sized falls were seen elsewhere.

In Canterbury, 28 earthquake-related consents were identified in April 2011, with a total value of $2.5 million. These consents included seven new homes, four of which were relocatable units intended to house displaced Christchurch residents.

The value of consents issued for residential buildings was $354 million in April 2011, down 26 percent compared with April 2010. The value of non-residential buildings fell 23 percent to $252 million.

Data for building consents is obtained from all territorial authorities.  

Geoff Bascand 3 June 2011
Government Statistician


For media enquiries contact:
Kathy Connolly
Christchurch 03 964 8700

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