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Housing consents trend continues to edge up

In February 2012, the number of new houses consented continued to trend upward, but the rate has slowed in recent months, Statistics New Zealand said today.

The trend for the number of new houses, including apartments, has risen 23 percent since April 2011, the lowest point in its 30-year history.

After seasonal fluctuations were removed, housing consents fell 6.7 percent in February, after rising  8.1 percent in the month before.

"February's decrease partly offset the January increase, which was due to the relatively large number of apartments approved in January," industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno said. "As a result, February's level is similar to December's." 

Housing consent numbers for February 2012, compared with February 2011, were:

  • 1,204 new houses, including apartments, up 24 percent
  • 1,142 new houses, excluding apartments, up 29 percent
  • 62 new apartments, all of which were retirement village units, down from 89 apartments.

More new houses were consented in 11 of New Zealand's 16 regions, in February 2012 compared with February 2011. While Canterbury showed the largest regional increase (up 112, to 260 new houses), this reflected the low number approved last year, likely due to the major earthquake on 22 February 2011.

In Canterbury, earthquake-related building consents totalled $41 million in February 2012. Of this, $30 million was for non-residential work, and $11 million was for residential work, including 27 new houses.

Data for building consents is obtained from all territorial authorities.