Consents Up-But Skewed Result

Building consents were up in January but don’t get excited. The majority of any increase was in Canterbury, obviously to repair the Christchurch tragedy. So consents remain in the doldrums because any increase in consents was going to replace  what has already been lost. It therefore follows that there is no actual increase in the number of houses available and the market continues to tighten with the inevitable rise in property prices.

Published 2 March 2012
Bob Dey Report

Building consents issued for new homes in January rose 27% from a low point reached a year ago, boosted by a surge in consents in Canterbury.

The consent level was low through 2010 but dropped sharply in December that year and hit a low point of 867 consents in January 2011. However, the consent level has been running at better than 1100/month since July and, although consents always dip in summer, January came through with 1098 consents.

Consents for the year to January remained 9.9% below the previous year at 13,893. Apartment consents for the year were 28% ahead at 1264, including 198 in January, of which 174 were for retirement village units in Canterbury.

The value of residential consents was up 25% for the month to $386 million, but down 9.1% for the year at $5.001 billion.

Around the regions, Auckland consents in January fell from 259 a year ago to 232, Northland rose from 35 to 42, Waikato rose from 79 to 109, Bay of Plenty was down by 3 to 62, Wellington was also down by 3 to 61, and Canterbury consents rose from 147 to 379.

In Auckland, on the old council boundaries, Rodney rose from 22 to 71, North Shore was unchanged on 23, Waitakere rose from 23 to 31,Auckland City fell from 108 to 41, Manukau fell from 67 to 34, Papakura rose from 9 to 23 and Franklin rose from 7 to 9.

The value of non-residential consents in January was down by $2 million to $226 million, and down 3.7% ($139 million) for the year to $3.64 billion. Consents for non-building construction doubled in January to $43 million but was down 7.1% for the January year to $373 million.

Total consents for the month were worth $655 million, up 17.2%, but fell 6.9% ($670 million) for the year to $9.013 billion.

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