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New home approvals up again, boosted by apartments and quake-related homes
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  30 September 2011

Building Consents Issued: August 2011  –  Media Release

The number of new homes approved in August 2011 shows a strong seasonally adjusted increase for the second consecutive month, Statistics New Zealand said today. This is true whether apartment numbers, which tend to vary a lot each month, are included or not.

"Excluding apartments, the seasonally adjusted increase of 17 percent in August 2011 was boosted by earthquake-related homes," industry and labour statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said. "There were 57 new homes identified as quake-related, including 50 relocatable units for housing displaced residents."

Including apartments, the seasonally adjusted increase of 13 percent in August 2011 was also boosted by the high number of apartments (179 units). Of these, 102 were identified as assisted-living apartments at retirement village complexes. 

These latest increases in home approvals confirm the upswing of the trend over the last five months, following some of the lowest levels seen since the series began. However, the extent to which the trend is rising may be revised as more data becomes available.

Although the overall level of housing approvals remains low, August is the first month for a year to see an increase in the actual number of homes approved compared with a year earlier – 1,509 new homes were approved in August 2011, up 23 percent from August 2010.

In Canterbury, earthquake-related building consents totalled $20 million in August 2011, following $32 million in July. The August consents comprised $12 million for non-residential work and $8 million for residential work, including the 57 new homes mentioned above.

Residential consent values totalled $483 million in August 2011, up 2.1 percent compared with the same month last year, while non-residential totalled $277 million, down 6.2 percent. Consent values for all buildings totalled $761 million, down 1.1 percent.

Data for building consents is obtained from all territorial authorities. For more information on building consent statistics, see Building Consents Issued: August 2011.

Geoff Bascand 30 September 2011
Government Statistician


For media enquiries contact:
Louise Holmes-Oliver
Christchurch 03 964 8700

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