Building consent values include goods and services tax (GST), which increased from 12.5 percent to 15 percent from 1 October 2010. It is not possible to separate the impact of this change on building consent statistics.
Figures given are unadjusted for seasonal and irregular factors unless otherwise stated.
Number of new dwellings down for September month, but trends continue to increase
In September 2011, the number of new dwellings authorised is down compared with the same month last year. Consents were issued for:
- 1,246 new dwellings, including apartments, down 1.3 percent
- 1,124 new dwellings, excluding apartments, down 6.5 percent
- 122 new apartments, up 103 percent.
In seasonally adjusted terms, the numbers of new dwellings authorised, both including and excluding apartments, showed large decreases in September 2011 following large increases in July and August. These decreases for the September month are a reflection of the strength of the previous two months' increases. Including apartments, there was a seasonally adjusted decrease of 17 percent in September despite consents being issued for 122 apartment units, of which 79 were assisted-living apartments. The seasonally adjusted figure, excluding apartments, also fell considerably, down 14 percent.
While the number of new dwellings authorised and seasonally adjusted numbers indicate a fall for September, the trends for the number of new dwellings, both including and excluding apartments, continue to increase.
- Excluding apartments, there have been small increases in the trend since March 2011
- Including apartments, the trend has also been increasing since March 2011, with comparatively stronger increases.
These increasing trends follow some of the lowest levels of new dwellings authorised since these series began. Variable numbers of consents issued for apartments and earthquake-related dwellings in recent months have resulted in a less stable trend than normal. This means that while both trends are increasing, the extent to which the trend is rising may be revised as more data becomes available.
In September 2011, compared with September 2010, the value of all residential building consents fell $53 million (12 percent) to $398 million. The value trend has been increasing since April 2011, but shows only small monthly rises.
Fewer new dwellings in 10 of 16 regions for the September month
In September 2011, compared with September 2010, the number of new dwellings authorised in the North and South Islands remained relatively unchanged. The North Island fell by 13 units (1.5 percent) and the South Island fell by 3 units (0.8 percent). Fewer new dwellings were authorised in 10 of New Zealand's 16 regions than in the same month of the previous year.
The largest regional decreases in dwelling numbers were:
- Wellington, down 42 units to 65
- Hawke's Bay, down 40 units to 24
- Southland, down 17 units to 18.
The region with the largest increase in dwelling numbers was the Bay of Plenty, up 93 units to 181. This rise was driven by consents for three new apartment complexes, consisting of 107 units, in Tauranga. These apartments include 79 assisted-living units in a new retirement village. Although the number of new dwelling units is high in the Bay of Plenty, the value of these new dwellings has not increased by a similar amount. This is because the consent for only the first stage of this retirement village has been received, which only accounts for a small amount of the total value of the entire complex.
Decrease of $46 million in non-residential building values
In September 2011, the value of non-residential building consents was $320 million, down $46 million (13 percent) compared with the same month last year. Six of the 11 building types decreased in value.
The largest changes from September 2010 were:
- hospitals and nursing homes, down $61 million, due to a $67 million consent for a hospital received in September 2010
- storage buildings, up $25 million
- social, cultural, and religious buildings, down $22 million.
As shown by the darkest bars in the graph above, the three largest contributors to the value of non-residential buildings in September 2011 were:
- offices and administration buildings, at 24 percent
- storage buildings, at 15 percent
- education buildings, at 13 percent
- shops, restaurants, and taverns, at 13 percent.
While the quarterly trend for the value of non-residential buildings authorised has risen for the September 2011 quarter, following two decreases, it is too early to confirm if the trend is increasing. While quarterly figures are more stable than monthly ones, non-residential building consents are volatile, with no stable seasonal pattern, and therefore a stable trend is slow to emerge. See table 5 footnotes for more information (printed with this release, or available from the 'Downloads' box online).
Earthquake-related consents total $29 million in September
In Canterbury, building consents identified as being earthquake-related totalled $29 million in September 2011, compared with $20 million in August and $32 million in July. In September, non-residential building consents totalled $26 million. Over half of this value is attributable to repairs to The Palms shopping centre. The remaining $3 million was for residential building consents, including four new dwellings. More information is available from Statistics NZ's Earthquake information portal.
Since 4 September 2010, about 580 earthquake-related consents have been identified, totalling $157 million. This includes 194 new dwellings, of which 145 were relocatable units.
Earthquake-related consents cover residential, non-residential, and non-building construction. Non-building construction most notably includes swimming pools, bridges, reservoirs, and retaining walls. Consents that are mainly for demolitions are excluded.
Building consents are often used as an early indicator of building activity. The extent of damage to Christchurch and adjacent districts, particularly that caused by the earthquake on 22 February 2011, means the relationship between consents and activity (for example, as measured by Statistics NZ's quarterly estimated Value of Building Work Put in Place) may change, even at the national level. Value of Building Work Put in Place: September 2011 quarter will be published on 5 December 2011.
Value of consents for all buildings down
In the September 2011 month, the value of consents issued for all buildings (residential and non-residential combined) was $717 million, down 12 percent compared with September 2010.
For the year ended September 2011, compared with the year ended September 2010, the value of consents for:
- all buildings was down $1,093 million (11 percent) to $8,509 million
- residential buildings was down $970 million (17 percent) to $4,819 million
- non-residential buildings was down $123 million (3.2 percent) to $3,690 million.
For more detailed data, see the Excel tables in the ‘Downloads’ box.