House building permits jump in November off boost in apartments

Stats NZ's Melissa McKenzie says apartment consent numbers fluctuate a lot.
November's rebound followed low numbers for apartment consents in October.

New Zealand residential building consents climbed 11 percent in November as a jump in apartments offset the fourth straight decline in new house permits.

Seasonally adjusted new dwelling consents rose to 2,743 in November from 2,477 in October, Statistics New Zealand said. Of that, new house permits fell 1.3 percent to 1,694, dropping for a fourth month.

"November's rebound in home consents was driven by apartments, which tend to fluctuate a lot and were particularly low in October," construction statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said in a statement. "Looking at the longer-term picture, building consents for apartments and townhouses have seen double-digit growth year after year, while consents for stand-alone houses have levelled off."

Quotable Value figures from earlier this week showed New Zealand's property market cooled in 2017, with values rising at half the pace of 2016 as Reserve Bank-imposed lending restrictions, tougher credit criteria and political uncertainty saw activity shrink. The housing market had been on a tear in the prior years as a shortage of property coincided with a record influx of new migrants, helping swell the population and stoking demand.

Auckland had been a major driver of much of the property market's strength in recent years, feeling the mismatch between supply and demand more acutely than other areas. Today's figures show permits in the country's biggest city rose to 1,450 in November from 1,118 in the same month a year earlier. That's the second-highest number of Auckland permits ever.

The data show 31,123 new dwellings were consented in the 12 months ended Nov. 30, up from 30,399 a year earlier. The value of those permits rose 7.7 percent to $11.51 billion, slowing from the 24 percent pace a year earlier.

New house permits shrank 0.8 percent to 21,178 in the 12 month period, while apartments climbed 33 percent to 3,137 and retirement village units were also up by a third to 1,969. Permits for townhouses, flats and units rose 14 percent to 4,839.

The value of non-residential building permits climbed 34 percent to $549 million in November from the same month a year earlier, while the floor area consented shrank 11 percent to 215,000 square metres. On an annual basis, the value of non-residential permits rose 11 percent to $6.61 billion across a 6.8 percent increase in floor area to 2.91 million square metres.


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Cabin fever is bad in a apartment environment and worse for the kids.

Attached townhouses are still to small for families.

Houses need to be 200m2 minimum for family human space living.

Labour are building 90m2 prison cell housing with family social problems resulting.

Working class people own the majority of houses in NZ not the rich!

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You will see that elsewhere in the world apartment living is perfectly acceptable and is the norm. New Zealand's urban centres are starting to follow suit, especially in Auckland where there is strong population growth, and geographic constraints of being centred between two harbours. Once more, there is a growing preference for less maintenance a traditional standalone house and sections have, which townhouses and apartments can offer.

Also many of the people looking for their first rung on the ladder are adjusting expectations and looking at apartments and townhouses. if you're a FHB, you adjust your expectations quickly to learn a 200sqm house is both unsuitable and unaffordable. (edited)

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Bank lending restrictions make it very hard for first home buyers to purchase an apartment. As they typically ask for a 50% deposit on small apartments. And larger apartments are too expensive. Also body corporate fees make it harder for first home buyers as well. As they are tax deductible for landlords, but not for owner occupiers. So most apartments often end up as rentals.

The land shortage is just an excuse. Plenty of land around Albany, Greenhithe, Cuthill areas that is tied up in lifestyle blocks and hobby farms. That could be used for housing, and has major infrastructure close by. But the council prefers to zone land for housing in further away areas. And then wounders why there is so much traffic congestion. Although I bet that the real reason is because most of the traffic congestion will end up on the motorway network. Meaning central government will have to pay for the upgrades.

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What rubbish! Hong Kong residents have one of highest life expectancies in the world yet almost no one lives in residences of that size!

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200 sqm minimum is a very poor marker for a "quality home".

An apartment that is built to the existing NZ Code is a poor quality home on many metrics, whether it is 90 sqm or 100 sqm.

What is needed are homes and apartments that are comfortable and healthy to live in. These are almost certainly built to Better levels of performance than the NZ Building Code requires, and a 90 sqm apartment built to these higher standards would be much nicer to live in than a 200 sqm "build to code dwelling".

90 sqm prison cells are typical of the rubbish built in Auckland in the past decade or so. Scene 1, 2 and 3 spring to mind but there are many more. Developers maximizing profits are the expense of poor design, poor performance, poor everything.

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