The residential construction market has made a lively start to 2021 with the number of new homes being consented coming within a hair's breadth of hitting an all time high.
According to Statistics NZ, 39,881 new dwellings were consented in the 12 months to January, just 144 short of the all time high for any 12 month period of 40,025, set in February 1974.
The latest consent figures were up 5.8% compared to the year ended January 2020.
The total value of that building work was $14.714 billion, up 6.4% compared to the previous 12 months.
All of the growth in new dwelling consents issued in the 12 months to January was from townhouses and home units, with consents for those types of properties up 41.4% compared to the previous 12 months, while consent numbers were down for stand alone houses (-1.0%), apartments (-13.8%) and retirement village units (-18.9%) over the same period.
Auckland continues to be the main driver of new residential building work, with consents for 17,116 new Auckland dwellings issued in the year to January.
That was up 14.3% on the previous 12 months and accounted for 42.9% of all consents issued throughout the whole of the country.
The area with the highest annual growth rate for new dwelling consents in the 12 months to January was Hawke's Bay +34.7%, followed by Taranaki +17.7%, Auckland +14.3%, Tasman +10.5%, Canterbury +7.1%, Manawatu/Whanganui +6.5%, and Bay of Plenty +5.4%.
All other areas showed annual declines compared to the previous 12 months, led by Nelson -42.3%, West Coast -20.5%, Otago -14.8%, Marlborough -12.8%, Southland -8.5%, Wellington -5.5%, Waikato -4.0% and Northland -2.0%.
While consents for residential construction remain robust, commercial consents continue to lag behind the levels of a year earlier.
In the 12 months to January consents were issued for $7.029 billion of non-residential building work, down 5.8% compared to the previous 12 months.
That included new buildings and structural alterations to existing buildings.
The biggest annual decline in commercial building construction was for retail premises -20.7%, followed by hotels/motels -11.1%.
However the value of consents for warehouses was up 15.1%, while office buildings posted a rise of 1.9% and factories were up 2.7%.
The total value of all types of residential and non-residential building work consented in the 12 months to January was $24.243 billion, up 1.8% compared to the previous 12 months.
In the month of January 2021, $1.761 billion of building work of all types was consented, up 10.3% compared to January last year.
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