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Home construction – testing what we know

Home construction – testing what we know

6 July 2017

Ninety-seven percent of new dwelling consents lead to a completed home, experimental figures released by Stats NZ today show.

Stats NZ produces monthly building consent figures, quarterly estimates of building work undertaken, and quarterly estimates of how many homes there are in New Zealand. The missing piece of the puzzle is just how many consents are completed, when they are completed, and where in New Zealand they are.

To answer this, Stats NZ produced some new experimental statistics. The test figures show that while almost all building consents turn into homes over time, it can take almost a year from the time a consent is issued before the house-warming starts.

Experimental dwelling estimates were released today on the Stats NZ innovation website. These include initial estimates of how many homes have been completed in the 67 territorial authority areas and what the supply of housing is in each location.

The estimates suggest that at a national level:
• About 97 percent of dwelling consents lead to a home being finished, though it dropped to about 93 percent during the 2008 global financial crisis.
• It currently takes about 10 months for a new home to be built after a dwelling consent is is sued. The lag was about six months in 1998, and 12 months in 2008.
• About 28,000 new dwellings were completed in the year ended March 2017. Just under 31,000 dwellings were consented during the same period.
• About 1.84 million private dwellings were available in New Zealand at March 2017, comparable to the official Dwelling and Household estimates. Dwelling and household estimates released tomorrow will provide an estimate for the June 2017 quarter using official methodology.
“While consents show an intention to build and are a good indicator of construction, we want to know how many are actually being built across New Zealand,” accommodation and construction indicators manager Melissa McKenzie said. At this stage, the new estimates are simply a test. Stats NZ is seeking feedback to see if people find the figures useful and how they could be improved.

Changes in methodology and data sources may result in revisions, so results should not be considered final, or used in decision-making. The best measures of dwellings to use in decision-making are:

Building consents issued
Value of building work put in place
Dwelling and household estimates
Census of Population and Dwellings


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