April 30, 2012
New Zealand residential building consents rose to their highest monthly level in two years in March amid growing demand for new housing in Auckland and Christchurch.
Building consents rose by a third to 1,394 worth $415 million in March, excluding volatile apartment figures, Statistics New Zealand said.
That’s the highest monthly number of new consents issued since March 2010. Including apartments, the number of issuance rose 43 percent to 1,559 worth $430 million, the highest total since September 2008.
Auckland had the biggest increase in new dwellings at 511 in March, compared to 298 a year earlier, while Canterbury issuance rose to 281 from 166 in 2011.
“The robust increase in dwelling consent issuance in March is fairly encouraging, and points to a recovery in residential building activity over the coming year,” ASB economist Christina Leung said in a note. “The improvement in residential building activity in Auckland and Canterbury should help to alleviate the housing supply constraints which have emerged in these regions.”