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Building consents up in December, down in 2011 year

Building consents up in December, down in 2011 year

Embargoed until 10:45am – 31 January 2012

The actual number of new housing approvals rose in December 2011 (compared with December 2010), but remains at a low level, Statistics New Zealand said today. Figures for December 2010 were the lowest for a December month in the 46-year history of this series.

"Most of the increase in housing approvals for December 2011 was concentrated in Auckland, Wellington, and Canterbury, with many of the other regions showing small falls," industry and labour statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said. "However, in 2011, housing approvals were the lowest for a December year since this series began in 1965 – down 12 percent to 13,662."

Housing approval numbers for December 2011, compared with December 2010, were: • 1,127 new houses, including apartments, up 13 percent • 979 new houses, excluding apartments, up 7.7 percent • 148 new apartments (including 41 rest home apartments), up from 85.

After removal of seasonal fluctuations, new housing approval numbers rose 2.1 percent in December 2011. Excluding apartments, there was a small decrease of 0.2 percent. These movements follow several months of volatility.

Trend numbers for new housing approvals rose during the nine months to December 2011, but the rate of increase is easing. Trend series are subject to revision each month when new data is added.

In Canterbury, earthquake-related building consents totalled $29 million in December 2011. This included $23 million for non-residential work, $5 million for residential work including seven new houses, and $1 million for non-building construction.

Data for building consents is obtained from all territorial authorities.

Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician 31 January 2012



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