New dwellings like this one in Clyde St, Dunedin, are
behind the lift in residential consents being issued. Photo
by Craig Baxter.
The Otago and Canterbury regions drove new dwellings
growth in November, figures released by Statistics New Zealand
In November, new dwellings consented in Otago were up 49, or
65%, to 124 compared with November 2011, Dunedin and
Queenstown both contributing equally.
The value of Otago residential consents was $42 million, well
up on both the $35 million recorded in October 2011 and $27
million recorded in November 2011.
Canterbury consents were up 171, or 71%, to 413 - their
highest in five years. Tasman was up 19, or 112%, to 36.
Auckland continued to lead with the highest number of new
dwellings consented in November - 432 - down one from October
2011, up just two from November 2011 but up 70 from November
Overall, residential consents fell sharply in November, but
that was entirely because of the volatile apartments
category, Westpac economist Felix Delbruck said. Excluding
apartments, consents issued for construction of new dwellings
posted a solid 4.6% increase, much in line with expectations.
Non-residential building work also continued to trend higher,
another big contribution coming from the Canterbury area.
''As such, our view remains firmly in place that construction
will continue to boost economic growth over the coming year,
largely but not totally due to post-quake building needs,''
Statistics NZ figures showed the value of non-residential
building consents in November was $420 million, up $5 million
compared with November 2011.
Two regions - Auckland and Canterbury - contributed 65% of
the non-residential work in November with $149 million and
$125 million respectively. The value of consents for
non-residential building work from the next three largest
regions in November were Wellington, at $40 million, and
Waikato and Otago, both on $19 million.
ASB economist Christina Leung was encouraged that rebuilding
work looked to be continuing in Canterbury. She estimated
dwelling consents issued in Canterbury increased 9.8% in the
month, on a seasonally adjusted basis - a rebound from the
fall in October.
The total number of quake-related consents issued in November
totalled $59 million. Of that, $25 million was for
residential buildings and $33 million for non-residential
work. Since September 2010, quake-related consents had
totalled $749 million.
''Given this estimate only takes into account direct repairs
and reconstruction on damaged sites, the true extent of
rebuilding is likely to be even greater. For example, a new
house built somewhere else as a result of the demolition of a
damaged house would not be included as a quake-related
Less encouraging was the fall in dwelling consents issued in
Auckland, Ms Leung said. There had been signs stronger
housing market activity was beginning to flow through to
higher house building demand earlier last year, but that
recovery looked to be slowing. With the supply of new housing
remaining low, the Auckland housing market was likely to
remain ''very tight'' over the coming year.
The strength in the housing market presented a dilemma for
the Reserve Bank, she said.
Signs of slowing momentum in the wider New Zealand economy
meant the central bank would be unlikely to want to use
higher interest rates to lean against the housing market.
However, the Reserve Bank had indicated it was prepared to
use macro-prudential tools, such as ''loan-to-value'' ratios,
with the potential for those tools to be used later this year
if the disconnect grew between housing credit growth and the
wider economy, Ms Leung said.