NZ residential building consents fall 7.6% in June after strong lift in May

Construction at Millwater subdivision in Auckland. Photo: John Sefton

New Zealand residential building consents fell 7.6 percent in June after rising 6.9 percent in May when they were driven by a strong lift in residential building consents in Auckland.

Seasonally adjusted consents for all dwellings fell to 2,857 in June from 3,092 in May while seasonally adjusted permits for stand-alone houses were down 3.1 percent to 1,807, Statistics New Zealand said.

“The number of new homes consented fell in June, when adjusted for seasonal factors. This was down from a particularly high number in May, that was driven by Auckland,” construction indicators manager Melissa McKenzie said.

New Zealand's residential construction pipeline has been bolstered by a shortfall of housing, particularly in the country's biggest city, although the 2018 National Construction Pipeline Survey, published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment yesterday, projects a slower rate of increase over the next two years than a year ago, with higher rates of construction stretching further into the future than previously forecast.

In the year to the end of June, permits for new residential dwellings rose an actual 7.9 percent to 32,860. Consents issued for townhouses, flats and units were up 20 percent to 5,760 while consents for apartments lifted 35 percent to 3,922 and retirement village units were up 21 percent to 2,002. Consents for houses were up 0.4 percent on the year to 21,176.

Of those, 12,369 were in Auckland, up 19 percent on the year but 4.4 percent lower than the peak in the June 2004 year, Stats NZ said. However, there were also 2,781 homes consented in Wellington, up 29 percent and a new record high.

“Wellington region consented a record number of new homes in the June 2018 year,” McKenzie said. “This is 7.3 percent higher than the previous peak of 2,632 in the August 2003 year.”

The value of all residential building consents issued in the year ended June 2018, including alterations and additions, was $14.2 billion.