Home consents close to 33,000 but slip in November

Consents for new homes nationally & in Auckland fell in November after picking up in the previous 12 months from a slowdown in 2016.

Consents nationally were up 5.3% over 12 months but fell short of an annual tally of 33,000, at 32,783.

The shifts were greater in Auckland – down 19% for the month but up by the same percentage over 12 months.

The annual figure for residential alterations & additions nationally topped $2 billion/year, but a slightly lower figure for that category of work for the month took the total for all new residential work a fraction lower than for the previous 12 months.

Standalone housing’s share of consents bounced back from a sharp drop last November but was still down nearly 4 percentage points for the year at 64.2%.

Consents for non-residential construction topped $7 billion/year for the first time.

Cycles & migrants

The annual residential tally of 32,783 consents is just short of the June 2004 peak of 32,851, which occurred during an immigration spike.

This time round, the immigration peak has already passed, reducing the clamour for more housing. That peak of 72,402 was reached in the year to July 2017. In the 12 months to October 2018, the net inflow had fallen by more than 10,000 to 61,751 – around the level in 2015, the second year of a very large 5-year ramping up of immigration.

Over those 5 years, the net inflow of migrants fell just short of 313,000. Over the previous 6 years, which included the global financial crisis & 2 years of net outflows, the net population gain from immigration was just over 50,000.

Consents for new homes got down to 13,529 in the November 2011 year – just over half the number achieved in 2007, down 15% from 2010 and the bleakest period of the global financial crisis. In October 2014, for the first time in 5 years, the annual consent rate just made it over the 20,000 mark (to 20,037).

Statistics NZ has scheduled the next release of migration numbers for Friday 25 January.

The national residential consent numbers for November 2018 & the year to November (previous November & year in brackets):
Total consents for new homes: 3120 (3262), down4.4%; 32,783 (31,123), up 5.3%
Total values for new homes: $1.13 billion ($1.12 billion), up1.3%; $12.1 billion ($11.5 billion), up 5.2%
Alterations & additions: $164 million ($184 million), down 10.7%; $2.02 billion ($1.98 billion), up 2%
Total value for new homes, plus alterations & additions: $1.298 billion ($1.302 billion), down 0.4%; $14.1 billion ($13.5 billion), up 4.8%
Standalone homes: 2009 (1870), up 7.4%; 21,057 (21,178), down 0.6%
Apartments: 226 (543), down 58.4%; 3518 (3137), up 12.1%
Retirement village units: 215 (272), down 21%; 1838 (1969), down 6.7%
Suburban townhouses & flats: 670 (577), up 16.1%; 6370 (4839), up 31.6%
Standalone share of consents: 64.4% for the month (57.3%); 64.2% for the year (68%).

Around Auckland, there were some big shifts within wards, for the month and for the 12 months:

  • Consents over the whole region fell 19% for the month, but rose 19% over 12 months
  • Waitemata (which includes the central city and therefore is dominated by apartment consents) fell 84% for the month, 70% over 12 months, and was also well down compared to 2016
  • Consents were much higher for month & year in 6 wards – North Shore, Waitakere, Whau, Albert-Eden-Roskill, Manukau & Manurewa-Papakura
  • Consents were much lower for month & year in 2 wards – Waitemata & Gulf, Mangakiekie-Tamaki
  • Monthly & annual figures were a mix of up & down in 3 wards – Orakei, Howick & Franklin.

Auckland residential consents for November 2018, compared to November 2017, and the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months (percentages for some of the more notable changes):
Region: 1172 (1450), down 19.2%; 12,800 (10,731), up 19.3%
Rodney: 68 (89); 770 (1056), down 27.1%
Albany: 224 (255); 2496 (2466)
North Shore: 48 (25), up 92%; 880 (484), up 81.8%
Waitakere: 125 (66), up 89.4%; 908 (537), up 69.1%
Waitemata & Gulf: 61 (388; 155 in November 2016 – down 84.3% from November 2017, down 69.6% from November 2016); 858 (1365; 1125 in the November 2016 year – down 37.4% from the November 2017 year, down 23.7% from the November 2016 year)
Whau: 72 (34), up 111.8%; 631 (312), up 102%
Albert-Eden-Roskill: 71 (36), up 97.2%; 949 (703), up 35%
Orakei: 45 (67), down 32.8%; 418 (261), up 60.2%
Maungakiekie-Tamaki: 77 (138), down 44.2%; 612 (746), down 18%
Howick: 74 (127), down 41.7%; 813 (594), up 36.9%
Manukau: 139 (90), up 54.4%; 1154 (451), up 55.9%
Manurewa-Papakura: 115 (88), up 30.7%; 1623 (952), up 70.5%
Franklin: 53 (47), up 12.8%; 688 (804), down 14.4%

Retail & hospitality consents jump, education dips

Statistics NZ construction statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said consents for non-residential construction topped $7 billion in 12 months for the first time  on record, rising by $450 million (5.4%) from the previous 12 months.

Consents for shops, bars & restaurants rose from $717 million over the 12 months to November 2014 to $796 million in 2017, then jumped 37% in the latest period to $1.09 billion.

Consents for education buildings have totalled just over $1 billion/year for the last 4 November years, but this was the lowest of the 4 at $1.05 billion (the range has been up to $1.17 billion).

All construction for November 2018 compared to November 2017, and the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months:
Total: $2.2 billion ($1.88 billion), up 17%; $21.6 billion ($20.5 billion), up 5.4%
Non-residential: $831 million ($549 million), up 51.5%; $7.05 billion ($6.6 billion), up 6.6%.

Attribution: Statistics NZ.

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