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NZ home building consents rise 11% in November, boosted by apartment developments

New Zealand building consents issued by local councils for new homes rose 11 percent in November, boosted by apartment developments.

New dwelling consents, including apartments, rose to a seasonally adjusted 2,267 in November from 1,891 in October, according to Statistics New Zealand. Excluding apartments, seasonally adjusted consents fell 0.5 percent.

Last month, New Zealand's Reserve Bank exempted new home building from its lending restrictions on low-equity mortgages introduced in October, on concern they could limit the supply of new houses that might reduce pressure coming from increased demand in Christchurch and Auckland.

"The November building consent issuance result is encouraging, indicating an improvement in house building demand," Christina Leung, an economist at ASB Bank, said in a note. "Although the strong increase in dwelling consents in November was driven by an increase in apartment consent issuance, which is especially volatile from month to month, the upward trend in dwelling consent issuance is still encouraging."

On an unadjusted basis, the number of new houses consented rose 1 percent to 1,775 from October. Consents for new apartments more than tripled to 492 from 133 in October, and recorded the highest monthly total since April 2008.

The number of new building consents issued in Auckland jumped 64 percent to 779, while consents in Christchurch slipped 3.9 percent to 269.

"The rebound in dwelling consent issuance in Auckland is particularly encouraging following softness over much of the second half of 2013," said ASB's Leung. "We expect the earthquake rebuild in Canterbury and stronger house-building demand in Auckland will drive construction growth over the coming years."

The unadjusted value of non-residential building consents fell to $289 million in November from $443 million a month earlier.

The value of all building permits slipped 8 percent to $1.087 billion from October.

(BusinessDesk)

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