June 04, 2019

Residential building consents continue strong growth

Total annual residential building consents are at an all-time high in New Zealand, driven by strong demand in Auckland and Waikato. In total 34,392 residential building consents were issued for the year ending April 2019, which is a 7.4 percent increase on April the previous year.

As shown in the figure below, New Zealand has seen continued growth in residential building consents since the middle of 2011, when annual building consents fell to around 13,500. During this period, New Zealand’s population has increased by 500,000 people, or around 72,000 people per year.

Source: Statistics NZ

In total the Auckland and Waikato regions accounted for 51 percent of total residential building consents for the year to April 2019. The figure below shows that residential consents in Auckland have been growing strongly since the middle of 2011. At the same time the growth in the Waikato region, in northern Waikato townships like Pokeno, started in 2016, and can be partly attributed to spill over growth from Auckland. Residential building consents may continue to grow in Waikato if the Hamilton to Auckland commuter train service expected to start in March 2020 is a success.

Source: Statistics NZ

At the same time the number of residential consents for Canterbury have been falling since the start of 2015, after the flood of consents arising from the Christchurch earthquakes. The number of annual residential consents are falling back, closer to its long term average of 3,900 per year.