Building consents fall in May as apartment numbers sink

New dwellings consented excluding apartments (Monthly) (Source: NZ Stats)

The number of dwelling consents issued in New Zealand fell in May as apartment numbers tumbled, offsetting a rise in housing consents.

The number of building permits, including apartments, fell to a seasonally adjusted 2,021 in May from 2,120 in April, according to Statistics New Zealand. The seasonally adjusted number of consents for new houses, excluding apartments, rose 4.6 percent in May.

"A fluctuation in apartment numbers from April to May caused the seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings, including apartments, to fall 4.6 percent in May," Statistics New Zealand said.

On an unadjusted basis, a total of 2,125 new dwellings were consented in May, comprising 195 apartments, including 75 retirement village units and 1,930 non-apartment dwellings, compared to 1,971 the same month a year earlier. The number of non-apartment dwellings was the most since November 2007.

Ten of the 16 regions consented more new dwellings, including apartments, in May 2014 than in May 2013.

The regions with the greatest increases were Canterbury, up 111, to 605, including 23 more apartments and Otago, up 42, to 145.

The greatest decrease was in Waikato, down 48, to 192, including 12 fewer apartments.

Since Sept. 4, 2010 when earthquakes first struck Christchurch $1.845 billion of building consents have been identified as earthquake-related. This includes 1,951 for new dwellings.

In May the value of building consents identified as earthquake-related was $97 million of a total value of $336 million in Canterbury.

The total value of building work in May was $1.2 billion, comprising $482 million of residential work and $370 million of non-residential work.

"Total consents fell 4.6 percent in May, following an upwardly revised 1.9 percent increase in April, in both of those months the headline figure was dominated by changes in apartment unit consents, having spiked up to 432 units in April, then fell back to an around-average 195 in May," Westpac said.

(BusinessDesk)

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