House building in Christchurch is increasing, figures from
Statistics New Zealand show. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
About $62 million of earthquake-related consents were
issued in Canterbury in July, of which $36 million was for
residential work and $25 million for non-residential work,
according to Statistics New Zealand.
Since September 4, 2010, $1.2 billion of earthquake-related
consents were issued.
ASB economist Christina Leung said given the estimates only
took into account direct repairs and reconstruction on
damaged sites, the true extent of rebuilding was likely to be
A new house built somewhere else as a result of the
demolition of a damaged house would not be included as an
''It is encouraging to see earthquake rebuilding gaining
momentum, despite problems in the Christchurch City Council
consent issuing process which culminated in the council
losing its building consent accreditation at the beginning of
The July result suggested the disruption had been limited and
longer-term capacity issues were expected to be resolved, she
ASB expected earthquake rebuilding in Canterbury and stronger
house building demand in Auckland would continue to drive
stronger residential construction over the coming years.
Nationally, dwelling consents issued eased slightly in July.
The small fall during the month was driven by lower consents
issued for apartments. Excluding that more volatile
component, core dwelling consents issued increased 3.1%.
Ms Leung said it was encouraging to see dwelling consents
issued in Canterbury and Auckland increasing. Housing supply
constraints had been acute in those regions.
''There are signs relatively strong house price inflation is
encouraging stronger house building demand.''
She estimated dwelling consents issued in Auckland increased
5% and in Canterbury 6.9% over the month, on a seasonally
However, the housing shortage - estimated at 20,000 to 30,000
in Auckland and 10,000 in Canterbury - was expected keep the
supply and demand imbalances remaining for some time yet, Ms
The Reserve Bank had become increasingly concerned about
growing pressures in the housing market and recently
announced new limits on new mortgages with deposits of less
Given the broad nature of demand and low levels of housing
supply, the loan-to-value ratios (LVRs) were expected to have
only a modest impact on the housing market.
''We continue to expect the Reserve Bank will still need to
lift the official cash rate in March 2014 in the face of
increasing housing market pressures and growing capacity
pressures stemming from the earthquake rebuild,'' Ms Leung