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Auckland building consents hit record in year to June

By Rebecca Howard

July 30 (BusinessDesk) - The Auckland region consented a record number of new homes in the 12 months to June 30 but nationwide the number of new consents remains below all-time highs.

In the 12 months to June, the actual number of new dwellings consented was 34,761, up 5.8 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.

Of those, permits for new houses rose 1.1 percent to 21,401, apartments rose 4.8 percent to 4,110, retirement village units rose 11.9 percent to 2,240 and townhouses, flats and units increased 21.7 percent to 7,010.

The total lagged behind the all-time peak of 40,025 in the February 1974 year, said Stats NZ.

“Apart from Auckland, the number of new homes consented across most regions in New Zealand still lags behind those seen in the mid-1970s, particularly in the lower North Island,” said Stats NZ construction statistics manager Melissa McKenzie.

The Auckland region consented 14,032 new homes in the year ended June 2019, the most ever consented in a year, Stats NZ said.

The number of new homes consented in Auckland in the June 2019 year was up 13 percent from the June 2018 year, and was more than four times the lows seen in 2009.

Growth in new homes consented over the last few years has been driven by multi-unit developments such as townhouses and apartments, which now account for around half of all new homes consented in Auckland, said McKenzie.

Meanwhile, seasonally adjusted residential permits fell 3.9 percent to 3,070 in the month of June from May when they were were up 14 percent, Stats NZ said.

In actual terms, there were 2,881 dwellings consented in June, up 3.2 percent from the same month a year earlier. Of those,1,653 were stand-alone houses while 630 were townhouses, flats and units. The stand-alone houses were down 4.5 percent versus the same month a year earlier while approvals for townhouses were up 5.9 percent.

There were 491 apartments, a jump of 52.0 percent on the year and 107 retirement village units, down 25.7 percent.

The number of homes consented each month can vary significantly due to the timing of large projects like townhouses and apartment buildings.

New Zealand's building sector remains inundated with work, despite an escalation in costs eroding profit margins and tipping several firms into liquidation or receivership.

The value of non-residential work fell 5.2 percent on the month to $503 million in June with the 204,000 square-metres consented being down 41.5 percent from a year earlier.

Non-residential work permitted totalled $7.4 billion in the year to the end of June, up 7.9 percent. It spanned 3.50 million square-metres, an increase of 10.7 percent.

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