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Estimate of New Dwelling Units: December 1999

Estimate of New Dwelling Units: December 1999

Estimate of New Dwelling Units: December 1999

New Dwellings Decline

Statistics New Zealand estimates the number of new dwelling units authorised in December at 1,963, substantially lower than in each of the preceding nine months. It is the first time the estimated number of new dwellings authorised in a month has fallen below 2,000 since February 1999.

The decline in the trend for new dwellings began in August and follows 11 months of steady upward movement. The decrease in the number of new houses and apartments being built may be partially attributable to uncertainty about rising interest rates. An apartment building boom in the middle two quarters of 1999 contributed to the high level of new dwelling authorisations in that period. Reports of saturation in the apartment market do not appear to have significantly affected the level of authorisations issued for mulit-unit consents. Many consents for apartment units involve empty office buildings which have been converted into apartment units.

A number of multi-unit consents boosted the totals recorded in Christchurch and Auckland city. In Christchurch, an estimated 228 new dwellings were authorised. This is the third time in the last year the Christchurch total has reached over 200. Most other cities and districts recorded a decline in the total number of dwelling units authorised when compared with the previous month, however, compared with December 1998 there were 233 more units authorised.

Ian Ewing Deputy Government Statistician END

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