There was a big drop in the number of new dwelling consents issued on October, adding further urgency to the government's plans to boost housing construction.
According to Statistics NZ, consents were issued for 2549 new dwellings throughout the country in October, down 8% compared to the 2770 that were issued in September and down 1% compared to October last year.
The decline was mainly caused by a sharp drop off in the number of new apartments with just 78 of them consented in October compared to around 300 to 400 that were consented every month over the previous four months.
In Auckland where the housing pressures are greatest because of strong, migration-fuelled population growth, consents were up overall, with 944 new dwellings consented in October compared with 868 in September and 792 in October last year.
It is estimated that Auckland needs about new 1200 homes a month added to the city's housing stock just to keep pace with its burgeoning population growth, which means the city's housing shortage is continuing to worsen every month by a substantial margin.
Of the 2549 new homes consented throughout the country in October, 1806 were standalone houses, 78 were apartments, 220 were retirement village units and 445 were townhouses or units.
Outside of Auckland there was a big drop in the number of new dwelling consents issued in Wellimgton, with just 162 issued in October compared with 282 in September and 303 in October last year.
Compared to September the trend was largely flat in the Waikato, and Otago, and down in Bay of Plenty and Christchurch (see the chart below for the trends in all regions).
On the non-residential building front, educatuional buildings such as schools and universities were the star of this month's figures, with $190 million of new educational building work consented in October compared to $80 million in September and $87 million in October las year.
But activity was more mixed for commercial buildings, with substantial declines in the value of retail and office buildings consented but increases for storage buildings, and factories.
Overall, the total value of non-residential building work consented in October was $584 million, compared to $546 million in September and $526 million in October last year.