Strong house-building demand in both Auckland and
Canterbury meant dwelling consents issued in July held up at
Both cities are targets for political housing announcements
with National and Labour focusing on different ways to get
first-home buyers into affordable housing.
Statistics New Zealand figures for July showed dwelling
consents issued were up 1% in July from June, but 20.5% for
the year ended July.
However, Auckland consents were thought to have increased 23%
in July on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Although Canterbury consents were thought to have fallen 15%
in July, this followed a strong result in June.
For the year to July, Canterbury dwelling consents issued
increased 42% on the same period last year.
Housing Minister Nick Smith claimed the statistics showed
Government housing reforms were working.
''We are increasing land supply and speeding up consent
processes through our housing accords and special housing
areas legislation. In Auckland alone, we have so far
announced 63 special housing areas with a potential yield of
Dr Smith expected to make an announcement on the fourth
tranche of special housing areas in coming weeks.
Labour is promising to build 100,000 modern homes over 10
years through its KiwiBuild programme and National is
promising to help 90,000 first-home buyers through KiwiSaver
ASB economist Christina Leung said she continued to expect
house-building demand in Auckland and Canterbury would drive
construction growth over the next couple of years.
Statistics NZ estimated Canterbury earthquake-related
consents totalled $126 million in July, of which $84 million
was for residential building work and $42 million for
It was estimated $2.1 billion of earthquake-related consents
had been issued since September 2010.
The work identified as earthquake-related only captured work
to repair or rebuild on earthquake-related sites and did not
include replacement buildings on a different site, Ms Leung
''The continued increase in non-residential building consents
in July is another positive development.''
The increase in July was led by stronger demand for new
office buildings and retail outlets. With businesses showing
increasing optimism towards investment, that was likely to
flow through to a continued improvement in commercial
building demand over the coming year, she said.
Looking at the implications of the latest data, Ms Leung said
the July data highlighted the positive developments in the
House-building demand remained strong, led by Auckland and
Canterbury and higher business confidence was finally
translating through to increased demand for commercial
buildings following soft demand over much of 2013.
''We expect strong house-building demand in Auckland and
Canterbury will drive construction growth over the next
couple of years. Added to that will be increased demand for
non-residential construction, reflecting the continued
improvement in business confidence.''
The ASB expected the Reserve Bank to hold the official cash
rate at its current level of 3.5% until March next year.