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NZ building permits rose at fastest pace in 3 months in June

NZ building consents rose at fastest pace in three months in June

By Tina Morrison

July 30 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand building consents increased at the fastest pace in three months in June, rising a seasonally adjusted 3.5 percent, as apartment developments rebounded.

The number of consents rose to a seasonally adjusted 2,104 in June from 2,033 in May, according to Statistics New Zealand. Excluding apartments, seasonally adjusted consents rose 2.9 percent. Unadjusted residential consents rose 27 percent to 1,950 in June from the same month a year earlier.

Building consent numbers have been on the rise, driven by the rebuilding of earthquake damaged Christchurch and a shortage of supply in Auckland. Nine of the 16 regions recorded higher building consents in June than May with the largest increases recorded by Canterbury, Waikato and Auckland, the statistics department said.

"Not surprisingly, the rise in consents was driven by the Auckland and Canterbury regions, with both reaching new cycle highs," Michael Gordon, a senior economist at Westpac Banking Corp, said in a note.

The value of non-residential building consents rose 32 percent to $490 million in June from May, the second-highest value on record behind $530 million in April 2009, the statistics department said. The figures aren't inflation adjusted.

"June was also a strong month for non-residential building consents, boosted by a $70 million approval for a hospital in Christchurch," said Westpac's Gordon. "Setting aside its month to month volatility, there has been a strong uptrend in non-residential consents over the last three years, which is now starting to translate through to the actual building work figures."


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