The number of new houses consented nationally rose again in November 2012, continuing the trend of the last 20 months, Statistics New Zealand said today.
"Since the latest low point in March 2011, we have seen continuous steady growth in the trend for the number of new houses consented," spokesperson Blair Cardno said. “The trend for new houses, including apartments, has climbed 45 percent over the 20 months to November 2012.”
"Excluding apartments, the trend for new houses is up by 41 percent since March 2011," he said.
Housing consent numbers for November 2012, compared with November 2011, were:
1,658 new houses, including apartments (up 20 percent)
1,619 new houses, excluding apartments (up 27 percent)
39 new apartments (down from 109).
Canterbury led the increase in the number of new houses in November 2012, up 171 from a year ago. Earthquake-related building consents in Canterbury totalled $59 million in November 2012.
The region with the second-largest increase in the number of new houses consented was Otago, up 49.
Auckland recorded 432 consents, its lowest in three months and just 2 more than the same month a year ago. Auckland is in the grip of a major housing shortgage with prices rising fast and new listing of existing properties coming on to the market at decade lows.
The seasonally adjusted number of new non-apartment houses increased 4.6 percent in November 2012. Including apartments, the seasonally adjusted number decreased 5.4 percent. Apartment numbers can vary a lot from month to month.
The value of all building consents in November 2012 was $1,053 million, up 15 percent compared with November 2011.
Comment on the implications of this data from Christina Leung, and economist at ASB:
While dwelling consent issuance eased in November, this was driven by a decline in consent issuance in the volatile apartment component. Looking beyond the volatility, the underlying trend remains one of a recovery in house-building demand, underpinned by rebuilding in Canterbury. However, there are signs the recovery in house-building demand in Auckland is slowing. The low level of new housing supply means the Auckland housing market is likely to remain very tight over 2013.
The strength in the housing market presents a dilemma for the RBNZ. Signs of slowing momentum in the wider NZ economy mean the RBNZ will be unlikely to want to use higher interest rates to lean against the housing market. The RBNZ has indicated a preparedness to use macro-prudential tools such as Loan to Value Ratios, with the potential for these tools to be used later this year if the disconnect grows between housing credit growth and the wider economy. We expect the RBNZ will hold off raising the OCR until December this year.