A total of 37,882 new dwellings were consented throughout the country in the 12 months to the end of February, the highest number in 45 years according to Statistics New Zealand.
That was up 10.6% on the previous 12 months, with townhouses and home units showing a 31.1% increase, followed by apartments up 9.4%, stand alone houses up 5.1% and retirement village units up 4.5%.
However stand alone houses remain the most popular type of accommodation, with 22,508 consented in the 12 months to February, followed by 8670 townhouses and units, 4451 apartments and 2253 retirement village units.
The total value of construction work on new dwellings consented in the 12 months to February was $13.929 billion, up 10.8% on the previous 12 months.
Most regions posted double digit growth in the number of dwellings consented in the 12 months to February compared to the previous 12 months, led by Hawke's Bay up 47.3%, followed by Nelson up 43% and Southland up 41.2%.
In the main centres growth was strongest in Wellington up 20.7%, followed by Otago up 16.8%, Canterbury up 12.4% and Auckland up 7.3%.
The only regions to post declines in the number of new dwelling consents issued in the 12 months to February compared to the previous 12 months were Northland where they dropped by 5.7%, which was third year in a row they have declined, and Manawatu/Whanganui where they were down 5.1%.
New consents were also weak in Bay of Plenty with annual growth of just 1.2%, following two consecutive years of declines.
In the month of February 3285 new dwellings were consented, up 6.0% on February last year (see the chart below for the monthly consents figures in all regions going back to February 2000).
However while residential building consents continue to grow strongly, consents for commercial and other non-residential buildings were barely in positive territory, with consents for many types of buildings down on a year earlier.
The total value of non-residential building consents (new buildings and structural alterations to existing buildings) was $7.343 billion in the 12 months to February, up just 2.3% compared to the previous 12 months.
The only types of non-residential buidlings to post increases in the value of consents issued in the 12 months to February were hostels, boarding houses and prisons +90.0%, hotels/motels +31.3%, hospitals and nursing homes +43.7%, and offices +8.4%.
All other types of non-residential buildings posted declines, led by farm buildings -13.9%, retail premises -12.4%, warehouses and storage buildings -12.0%, social and cultural buildings -6.9%, educational buildings -6.1% and factories/industrial buildings -2.1%.
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