New building consent numbers were generally flat around the
country during May, but the South Island, Otago and
Canterbury all reported gains ranging from about 20%-40%.
If apartments are excluded from the overall 2125 new dwelling
consents for May, seasonally adjusted new dwelling numbers
rose 4.6% on May last year, but including apartments, the
national figure declined by 4.6%.
Total consents for May were $1.2 billion, of $842 million for
residential work and $370 million commercial; Otago's rose by
$17 million to $52 million while Canterbury was up by $41
million to $195 million.
Registered Master Builders Association chief executive
Warwick Quinn said the overall trend has stabilised,
following two years of ''strong growth''.
He expects about 23,000 to 24,000 residential building
consents to be issued in 2014, up from 21,300 in 2013 and
16,929 in 2012.
''The two main centres of Auckland and Canterbury still make
up nearly 60% of all activity and this is expected to
continue,'' Mr Quinn said.
Ten of the 16 regions in the Statistics New Zealand data
released yesterday showed increases in consented dwelling
Canterbury was up by 111, to 605, and Otago up 42, to 145, on
a year ago.
Canterbury's 605 consents, the highest number for the region
during any month of the past year, were up 111 homes on May
last year, a 22.4% increase.
Since September 2010, Canterbury consents worth $1.84 billion
had been identified as quake-related, including 1951 new
dwellings during that time.
While North Island consents slipped from 1278 to 1260, the
South Island jumped by 172, or almost 25%, from 693 to 865.
Westpac senior economist Michael Gordon said there was an
underlying improvement for the month, masked by a pullback in
the ''volatile'' apartment units category.
The total consents fell 4.6% in May, which followed an
upwardly revised 1.9% 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, they fell back to an
around-average 195 in May,'' Mr Gordon said.
Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith said the number of new
dwellings consented was at its highest level since 2007.
''The figures are particularly encouraging in Christchurch,
where the pace of the residential rebuild is growing month by
month,'' Dr Smith said.
The 360 building consents issued in May 2014 was double the
172 issued in May last year and up from 356 in April - taking
the total consents issued for the year to 3435.
''This is the highest number of consents issued in a single
month or year on record, and confirms that the rebuild of
Christchurch's housing stock is moving with pace,'' Dr Smith
said in a statement.
ASB economist Christina Leung said excluding the more
volatile apartment component, dwelling consents actually
increased 4.6% over the month.
However, she sounded a note of caution, that for the year to
May, the number of dwelling consents issued in Auckland
totalled 6779, which was still below the 9000 houses she
estimated would be needed each year in the region, over the
next couple of years, to keep pace with population growth.
Nationally, 2125 new dwellings, including apartments.195
apartments, including 75 retirement village units1930
SOURCE: STATISTICS NZ