The residential building industry may be at the beginning of a downturn.
The latest figures from Statistics NZ show that the number of new residential building consents issued throughout the country has declined for three months in a row.
The figures show there was a drop off in the number of consents issued in March and April due to the Level 4 pandemic lockdown restrictions, but they then recovered strongly, rising to 3562 in in May.
But they have fallen in each of the following three months, declining to 3477 in June, 3391 in July and 3147 in August.
That means the number of new dwelling consents issued throughout the country in August was down 3.6% compared to August last year.
Around the regions the trends were mixed.
In Auckland the number of consents declined in August for the first time since April, and were only marginally below where they were in August last year, while consents were also down in August compared to July in Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Otago.
But consents were up in August compared to July in Wellington and Canterbury (see the chart below for the full regional breakdown).
The decline was particularly noticeable in the number of apartments and retirement village units consented, while consents for stand alone homes and townhouses have been relatively stable.
However consents for apartments and retirement units are usually quite volatile, so it is too early to say if the slide in their numbers is particularly significant yet (see the second table below for the trends in consents by types of dwelling).
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