There is little to cheer about in the latest building consent figures, with a sharp drop in the number of new homes consented in September.
According to Statistics NZ, 2550 new dwellings were consented throughout the country in September, well down from the 2834 consented in August, the 2811 consented in July and the 2752 consented in June, but up 13.7% compared to September last year.
Crucially, there was a significant drop in the number of new dwellings consented in the Auckland region, where high migration-fuelled population growth is causing a worsening housing shortage.
There were 752 new dwellings consented in Auckland in September, compared with 970 in August, 1087 in July and 921 in June.
Although the 752 dwellings consented in Auckland in September was up compared to the 643 consents issued in September last year, the fact that consent numbers in Auckland have declined substantially for two months in a row is a concern because it corresponds with a new surge in migration to a fresh record high.
There was also a big drop Canterbury where 458 new dwelling consents were issued in September compared to 568 in August and 525 in September last year.
There were smaller falls for the month in Waikato, Bay of Plenty, and Otago.
The decline of consents issued in September was across all housing types - apartments, houses, retirement village units and townhouses/home units (see graph below)
However Wellington went against the trend, with 294 new homes consented in the capital in September, compared with 161 in August and 126 in September last year.
The total value of new dwelling consents issued in September was $893 million, plus there was another $169 million of structural residential alteration work consented, taking the total value of all residential building work to $1.062 billion for the month, down from $1.181 billion in August but up 16.6% compared to September last year.
On the commercial property front, $509 million of non-residential building work was consented in September, which was the lowest it has been since May.
The value of non-residential building work consented has now fallen for three consecutive months since it peaked at $739 million in June.