Housing consents continue strong run

HAMISH MCNICOL
Last updated 11:50 31/03/2014

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A drop in the number of apartments consented in February resulted in total building consents for the month dropping 1.7 per cent.

Statistics New Zealand figures released today showed $1.1 billion of work was consented during February, for 1768 new dwellings.

But just 66 apartments were consented, the lowest monthly total in nearly a year, which caused the fluctuation in total consents.

Statistics NZ said this drop in apartments followed five-year highs in November and December, with the trend at its highest point since October, 2007.

The total number of consents was 95 per cent higher than the series minimum in March 2011, but still 29 per cent below the maximum recorded in January 2004.

Excluding apartments, consents rose 3 per cent in February after a 1.1 per cent dip in January.

For the year to February, the value of building consents was 22 per cent higher than the previous year, or worth $2.24b more.

Statistics NZ business indicators manager Neil Kelly said excluding apartments, the trend was at its highest since December 2007.

"The trend for new houses has been increasing for almost three years," he said.

Consents issued in Canterbury accounted for 30 per cent of February's total, and Auckland 26 per cent.

The number of consents identified as earthquake-related now totalled $1.6b.

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- Fairfax Media

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