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March 2020

Consents strong in December

24 Feb 2020, Industry Updates, News

December 2019 saw the year end on strong footing, after falling the previous month

A total of 2,910 new dwellings were consented in December — a seasonally adjusted 9.9% increase, following an 8.4% decrease in November.

The December figure comprised of 1,662 stand-alone houses, 763 townhouses, flats, and units, 377 apartments, and 108 retirement village units.

In the year ended December 2019, the total number of new dwellings consented was 37,538 — up 14% from the December 2018 year.

In the regions

Eleven of the 16 regions consented more dwellings in December 2019 compared to December 2018, led by Auckland (up 288 to 1,226; +31%), Wellington (up 138 to 295; +88%), Waikato (up 75 to 330; +29%), and Otago (up 40 to 178; +29%). Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, Nelson, Marlborough, and West Coast were other regions to consent more dwellings month on month.

Five regions saw a decrease in consented dwellings over the same period, led by Manawatu-Whanganui (down 56 to 59; -47%) and Northland (down 29 to 52; -36%). Tasman, Canterbury, and Southland also experienced decreases.

Smaller homes close the decade

While the number of new dwelling consents continues to grow, the average floor area of new houses consented is going down. According to Stats NZ, this is primarily due to stand-alone houses getting smaller.

New homes consented in the December 2019 year had a lower average floor area than those in the December 2010 year, when the average floor area was at its highest.

The median floor area of new stand-alone houses consented in 2019 was around 180 square metres, down from a peak of 200 square metres in 2010 (-21%). The median floor area of multi-unit homes has hovered around 100 square metres (which includes a portion of any shared spaces) since 2010.

Making up 40% of all new homes consented in 2019, Auckland was a big driver of this trend, with median floor area of new homes dropping around 60 square metres between 2010 and 2019. This could partially be due to an increasing number of multi-unit houses. In the December 2019 year, over 50% of all homes consented in Auckland were multi-unit homes, compared with a low point of about 16% in 2010.

Non-residential building consents

In the year ended December 2019, non-residential building consents totalled $7.5bn, up 5.2% from the December 2018 year. The building types with the highest value were:

  • Education buildings — $1.1bn (up 3.1%)
  • Shops, restaurants, and bars — $1.1bn (up 4.4%)
  • Offices, administration, and public transport buildings — $1.bn (up 17%)

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