New dwelling consent activity remains strong with the number of new consents issued nationally more than doubling over the last five years

New dwelling consent activity remains strong with the number of new consents issued nationally more than doubling over the last five years

The new housing market continues its steady growth with 3180 new dwelling consents issued throughout the country in March, according to Statistics NZ.

That was up on both a monthly and annual basis, with March's consents up 8.7% compared to March last year, while the 34,516 new dwelling consents issued in the 12 months to March were up 10.0% compared to the previous 12 months.

There are also increasing signs that new housing activity in Auckland is now starting to keep pace with the region's burgeoning population growth. estimates that around 12,867 new homes need to be added to Auckland's housing stock each year to keep pace with its population growth, and the latest figures show 13,875 new dwelling consents were issued in Auckland in the 12 months to March, up 24% on the previous 12 months.

That means the number of new homes being consented in Auckland has more than  doubled in the last five years.

However, housing supply in the region will remain tight for some time because of the lag between  consents being issued and buildings being completed and because of the considerable undersupply caused by several years of housing construction failing to keep pace with the region's migration-fuelled population growth.

Nationally, stand alone houses continue to be the main type of new home being consented, although multi-unit dwellings such as apartments and home units are providing the greatest growth.

In the 12 months to March, 21,616 stand alone houses were consented throughout the country, up 3.5% compared to the previous 12 months, while 6600 townhouses and units were consented (+24.8%) and 4033 apartments were consented (+18.4%).

There has also been significant growth in retirement village units, with 2267 consented in the 12 months to March, up 24.8% compared to the previous 12 months.

The interactive chart below shows the monthly dwelling consent trend in each region.

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Building consents - residential

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That 12,867 figure was calculated in Oct-2018, but since then immigration has soared to new highs. Now Auckland probably needs to be building at in excess of 14,000 to tread water.

Agree unaha-closp.

But the increase in new consents being issued is indicative of the confidence in the Auckland housing market - and Auckland's economy.

Auckland and Wellington remain solid/safe bets for longer-term property investors.


NSW and Victoria are in the midst of a huge decline in the amount of building approvals. Their level of activity is very bad and has declined to the rate of Auckland - 70 units per 100,000 people each month.

Auckland's current "boom" is being a little over hyped.

Why is no one talking about Kiwibuild? Has it be terminated?

Did Kiwibuild ever get off the ground?


We can only hope.. but sadly, no, it lumbers on like a drunk elephant.

Twyford the Terminator keeps going and going and going.

Bashing his head up against the same walls. Getting nowhere. But he has a prime directive "Build Affordable Houses".

At some point someone will take his battery out and he'll have a new prime directive "Sit in the back benches and keep quiet".


Sorry to be a contrarian again, but I'm really not convinced there ever was a housing shortage, or not a very big one at all, rather than a bubble/unaffordability crisis created by loose credit and speculation. How sure are we of the shortage figures? People are certainly not rushing to buy all the new places being built in Auckland, and I've noticed quite a few of the places sold in the past few years are put up for sale again (high turnover).


I've suspected the same. If I buy every potato I can find, there'll be a shortage of potatoes for sale and the price will rise... even though there are still enough potatoes for everyone, it's just that I'm hoarding them.
I would say: bubble, absolutely, shortage, probably yes but to a slighter extent than we've been told.
It doesn't seem like Govt has been keeping track of a lot of important numbers until very recently, so it's impossible to say.

I think that you are fundamental right about the shortage. The governments estimates of figures are based on the price level in 2006 - and assumes that there was an appropriate ratio of people to houses at that point. However, as prices have gone up people change the way they life (taking in flat mates, kids stay at home longer). The stock of houses is right for the current price levels - but when prices fall demand will increase.

I also think there is a longer term trend of industry leaving Auckland because it can't afford to be based there. The comparisons with London and Sydney miss the point that those cities, over time have lost industries that can't afford to be based there.

All the way from the 1980's up until 2010 Auckland built housing at about the same rate per capita as Brisbane. Then from 2010 until 2016 Auckland built housing only half as fast as Brisbane. And Auckland, during 2010-16, had its house price go up much faster than Brisbane. So what we has in Auckland was a housing shortage and a credit induced bubble working in parallel.

I'd love to believe you.

But Ashley Church is blue-in-the-face repeating that there is a housing shortage.

Shortage of WHAT TYPE of housing???
Answer: affordable for rent.
NOT $650k stuff or silly apartments of 50m square at $400k with no garden that kids would suffer in.
Population increase in Auckland in last 6 years probably about 300,000.
How many have joint incomes sufficient to afford $650,000?
By way, I just calculated what average 3 bed sales price in Stanmore Bay as in last 4m and it was $754k
That is about cheapest average in Hibiscus Coast.
What happened to government being heart bleeding re homeless , who by definition cannot afford to buy?
Oh, yes I forgot, still consulting on using Firms who can build a 2 bed place and deliver it for $65k
Could we PLEASE have a little precision when talking about these matters, especially re defining terms

I'm calling it a Clayton's Housing Crisis. The crisis you have when you're not having a crisis. My point is that the impetus for calling it a crises came from three points, none of them being lack of new dwellings. Firstly, thanks to Nationals gross negligence unregulated numbers of cashed up asian buyers came into NZ in force and proceeded to blow kiwi buyers out of the water at purchase, secured an immense holding of property and drove prices sky high consequently, meaning moving up to a newer property was impossible for kiwis. This put kiwi buyers in direct conflict with fhb's or people moving from renting to buying at the lower end of the market with hugely increased demand there also. Most visable was the awful wholesale disruption of the tenancy base of the country as rental homes were flipped repeatedly meaning endless upheaval for tenants who lived in them. You really have to wonder if National had declared war on its own voters with policy that bad!

I'm glad you understand the problems tenants have faced from the overheated market. It's not something that the Herald has ever reported on. I've been kicked out of three consecutive flats in Auckland due to owners selling... and no, being a good, tidy tenant who always pays on time doesn't help. My previous landlords are still trying to sell the house they evicted us from last year. The current landlords have never even seen the house they bought, much less talked to us, so it's not as if they'll have any compunction about kicking us out if their investment isn't looking as good as they hoped. It's immensely disruptive and expensive moving, even for a childless young couple with a middling income. I know that for families on benefits it's often impossible to manage without a period of homelessness. But we're still supposed to be worried about price declines, right?

I will always have empathy for those who rent.

It's funny, when they banned letting fees there was this outcry about how much time/petrol etc is spent by Property Managers setting up the tenancies.
What about the tenants? How much time/petrol is spent when they shift rentals, including picking up the keys from the PM office?

Auckland cut its new housing supply by about 50% between 2010 and 2016, that level of retardation would have created a housing crisis unless there was emigration of 3000 people leaving each year. The retardation of new dwelling construction by Auckland Council reduced building to levels way below that required for natural population growth of Auckland.