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Consents for house building rise 3.1% in November to highest level since May 2008 (Update 1)

Consents for house building rise 3.1% in November to highest level since May 2008 (Update 1)

The number of residential building consents issued for new houses continued to improve in November, with seasonally adjusted figures showing consents for new homes hit its highest level since May 2008, figures released by Statistics New Zealand show. (Update 1 adds economist comment.) Taking away seasonal fluctuations, residential consents for houses rose 3.1% in November to its highest level since May 2008, after a 11.5% rise in October, Stats NZ said. The positive trend for non-apartment residential dwellings continued, but has dropped off slightly from 6.1% in August to 4.4% in November. "Although the trend for new housing units has been increasing since March 2009, it is still considerably lower than the levels seen before mid-2007," Stats NZ business statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said. Seasonally adjusted figures for house consents peaked at 2,087 in June 2007, before falling to a low of 911 in January 2009. Unadjusted figures show there were 1,500 residential building consents issued in November, including 42 for apartment units. This was up from 1,168 in November 2008. Apartment figures often vary from month to month and have been held up recently by retirement village building. ASB economist Chris Tennent-Brown said he expects overall building activity should pick up over 2010. "We expect housing construction will recover to a degree over 2010 and provide a solid boost to GDP growth," he said. Here is the release from Stats NZ:

The number of new homes authorised for construction (excluding apartments) rose 3.1 percent in November 2009 when adjusted for seasonal effects, Statistics New Zealand said today. This follows an 11 percent rise in October 2009 and brings the number of housing units authorised to its highest level since May 2008. When the volatile apartment category is included, the number of new housing units rose 1.2 percent. "Although the trend for new housing units has been increasing since March 2009," business statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver says,"it is still considerably lower than the levels seen before mid-2007". Residential building consents were issued:
  • for 1,458 new housing units (excluding apartments)
  • for 42 new apartment units.
The value of residential building consents was $537 million, an increase of 18 percent compared with November 2008, while the value of non-residential building consents was $389 million, a decrease of 2.3 percent. The decrease in non-residential value was partly offset by a large increase in the hospitals and nursing homes category, due to consents for several hospital projects.

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