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NZ Building Consents - March 2001

Data Flash (New Zealand) NZ Building Consents - March 2001

Key points

The number of new dwelling consents issued decreased 1.2% mom in March and was 12.4% lower than a year earlier.

Non-residential building consents with a value of $226m were issued in March. The value of non-residential consents issued in the three months to March was 20.5% higher than a year earlier.

Commentary

At this stage the modest lift in secondary house sales over recent months has yet to feed through into stronger demand for new dwellings, with the latter remaining at around the low level seen since April last year. A strong labour market and robust levels of consumer confidence, assisted by lower mortgage rates, has been offset by strong migrant outflows, which have acted to reduce the population growth rate and thus the rate of growth required in the housing stock. A continuation of this trend is a feature of our Economic Forecasts, which suggest no meaningful cyclical upswing in the housing market until 2002. On a more positive note, however, consents for non-residential building activity remain quite robust, in line with the broader performance of the economy.

Darren Gibbs, Senior Economist

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