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Research done by brokers Forsyth Barr scrutinises
data from Statistics New Zealand released last month, which revealed a spike in
new home consents for August, but led by volatility in Auckland's apartment and retirement village units.
Forsyth Barr broker Damian Foster said while the ''headline'' August data was ''strong'', it it had been driven by the ''inherently volatile'' apartments, retirement units and larger non-residential projects.
''The underlying trend for residential and non-residential appears broadly flat,'' he said.
Mr Foster said a careful watch was being kept on Auckland, the Waikato and Bay of Plenty and Canterbury, which between them accounted for more than 70% of the country's construction activity.
''We suspect further material growth will continue to be difficult, with the support from population growth offset by unaffordability, higher mortgage rates, [bank] credit rationing and [construction industry] capacity constraints,'' Mr Foster said.
Year on year, residential consents for those areas were only down modestly, by 1% to 4%, but during the past six months the declines ranged between 5% and 10%.
Otago and Wellington remained regions with some strength, and house consents over the previous six months up 15% and 24% respectively, he said.
Mr Foster said August was also a strong month for non-residential consents, with values up 32% against August last year.
The cost per square metre to build was up 9%, while the total area built fell by 4%.