Home News Industry Updates Highest yearly consents since 1974

April 2021

Highest yearly consents since 1974

01 Apr 2021, Industry Updates, News

The 3,205 new dwelling consents issued in January 2021 have contributed to the highest 12-month period since 1974. In addition, stand-alone house consents have doubled in the past decade, Stats NZ reports

The annual number of new homes consented in the year ended January 2021 was 39,881, up 5.8% from the year ended January 2020. This consisted of 22,115 houses, 4,018 apartments, 1,865 retirement village units, and 11,883 townhouses, flats, and units.

The all-time high for any 12-month period was 40,025 in the year ended February 1974, which is 144 more than the current year-ended figure.

The number of new homes consented per 1,000 residents in the year ended January 2021 was 7.8. The record was in 1973, at 13.4, when the population was around 3 million.

Stand-alone house consents double in a decade

Stats NZ has confirmed that, over the past decade, there has been increase in consents for medium-sized (100 – 200m2) stand-alone houses.

Construction Statistics manager Michael Heslop said that “in 2020, more than 53% of all stand-alone houses were medium-sized, climbing from a low of around 38% in 2008, and returning to levels we saw in the 1990s. The proportion of smaller standalone houses under 100m2 was higher in the 1990s than now.”

Modest month-on-month increase

In total, 3,025 new dwellings were consented in January – an increase of 1.2% from December 2020 when accounting for seasonality.

The January figures comprised of 1,487 standalone houses; 895 townhouses, flats, and units; 521 apartments; and 122 retirement
village units.

Regions stand off at 50/50

Seven of the 16 regions consented more dwellings in January 2021 compared to January 2020, led by Auckland (up 460 to 1410; +48%), Northland (up 57 to 97; +142%) and Waikato (up 54 to 295; + 22%). Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Wellington and the West Coast also showed an increase in consented dwellings.

Eight of the remaining regions saw a decrease in dwellings consented over the same period, led by Nelson (down 44 to 12; – 78%), Canterbury (down 44 to 425; -9%) and Manawatu Whanganui (down 21 to 71; – 22%). Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, Tasman, Marlborough and Otago also recorded decreases.

Southland saw no changes to consented dwellings in January 2021 compared to January 2021.

Non-residential down

In the year ended January 2021, non-residential building consents totalled $7.0bn, down 5.8% from the January 2020 year. The building types with the highest value were:

  • Education buildings – $1.3bn (up 13%).
  • Storage buildings – $1.1bn (up 15%).
  • Offices, administration, and public transport buildings – $978m (up 1.9%).


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