Wellington apartment building boom

JAMES WEIR
BUSINESS EDITOR
Last updated 13:48 30/07/2012
Wellington City generic
JOHN NICHOLSON
GOING UP: Premiums for commercial buildings and body corporates in the capital have skyrocketed.

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New home building is picking up in Wellington city, mainly due to a jump in new apartment developments.

Consents were issued for 148 houses and apartments in June in the Wellington region, up from just 65 in the same month last year.

The June consents this year were about double the number in both April and May.

Of the new consents, 71 were for new apartment developments in Wellington city.

In Wellington city alone, there were 98 consents issued in June this year, compared with just 20 in the same month last year, which was a dire month for the building sector nationally.

The June figure for Wellington was the best month since a rush in December.

However, there was little work elsewhere in the region, with just 8 building consents in June for each of Porirua, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt.

Nationally, home building is picking up from a poor 2011, but the gains this year are patchy, with a lift in June only partly offsetting falls in April and May.

Building consents were issued for 1159 new houses in June, up 24 per cent on the same month last year, with a lift in both Canterbury and Wellington.

Including apartments, the total number of consents was 1277 new homes, up 28 per cent on June last year, Statistics NZ said.

Seasonally adjusted, Statistics NZ figures showed total consents in June were up 5.7 per cent from May this year.  However, that followed falls of more than 7 per cent in both April and May.

There was a strong lift of almost 19 per cent in March but monthly figures in June remain below that level.

Excluding apartments numbers, which can bounce up and down sharply, the underlying number of house consents rose just 2.1 per cent in June.

The total value of residential building consents rose 27 percent to $456 million for June 2012, compared with last June. The value trend has increased 30 percent since April 2011.

"The South Island drove the increase in residential building consents in June," industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno said.

"In June, the number of new housing approvals in Canterbury more than doubled from a record low one year ago, and increased by over 90 percent in the Otago region."

Canterbury had the largest regional increase in new housing numbers in June 2012, up to 296 from just 133 in June 2011, the lowest June month since the series began in 1991.

The majority of consents continued to be outside Christchurch city, in the surrounding districts - Waimakariri, Selwyn, and Ashburton. The next-largest regional increase was in Wellington. Otago followed, with an increase of 60.

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Housing consent numbers for June 2012, compared with June 2011, were:

  • 1,277 new houses, including apartments (up 28 percent)
  • 1,159 new houses, excluding apartments (up 24 percent)
  • 118 new apartments, 47 of which were retirement village units (up from 60 apartments).

Related:

$2m Wellington apartments snapped up

Zero deposit for slow-selling apartments

Capital apartment woes bruise property figures

Contact James Weir
Business editor
Email: james.weir@dompost.co.nz

- © Fairfax NZ News

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