New homes behind lift in consents
Palmerston North's construction industry has had a boost, with consent figures doubling in the past year.
But city council consent staff say it is too early to say if it is a blip or the start of a trend.
There were 28 new building consents in the city last month, up from 12 registered in May last year, Statistics New Zealand figures show.
It was the most new consents issued in a single month during the past year.
In that time, there has been an average of about 15 consents a month.
City council customer services general manager Peter Eathorne said new houses seemed to be driving the increase.
"Looking at the types issued, they're ranging between one, two and three-bedroom dwellings.
"Most of them appear to be two or three-bedroom."
Provisional figures for June were not yet available, so it was too early to say if the upturn would continue, he said. "Hopefully, it's the start of things turning around."
May was also a good month for consents in Horowhenua, the nine new buildings consented, up from four during May last year.
Figures have been volatile in the region during the past year, with new consents per month ranging from 11 to two.
Manawatu recorded five new consents, which was in line with recent figures.
Nationally, consents were up for the 26th month in a row to 1971 new dwelling units - 43.7 per cent higher than in May 2012.
The Auckland and Canterbury regions drove the growth, making up 57 per cent of the national total.
Statistics NZ industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno said May's total was 73 per cent higher than the historic low point from March 2011.
However, it was still 37 per cent lower than the January 2004 peak, he said.