Tag Archives | building consents

Decision Monday on how to meet building consent flows

Auckland Council’s strategic procurement committee will decide tomorrow (noon Monday) whether to renew its overflow delivery model for building consent services.

The item is listed in the committee’s open agenda but the main discussion will be confidential.

The question for the council is how to provide an efficient service at peak times without employing its own staff to cover those peaks.

The council’s head of physical works & technical services procurement, Peter Cunningham, says in his meeting report: “Building consent services are currently provided through a combination of inhouse delivery, an overflow delivery model that operates across the Auckland region and a legacy outsourced provider model that operates exclusively in Manukau.

“In the central region, in addition to the overflow model there is also an agency provider to manage building consenting volumes.”

The current contracts expire on 30 June.

In further explanation, Mr Cunningham says: “The preferred regional service delivery model for building consents is one where third-party suppliers are used to process consents and inspect buildings that council staff do not have the capacity to process, eg, an overflow delivery model.  In an overflow model, the suppliers would act as an agent of Auckland Council.

“Due to restraint on additional staff and to manage risk of over-capacity, the overflow model is considered an essential component to ensure the delivery of an efficient, quality, timely building consenting service.

“The overflow model is considered a more feasible alternative to delivering the full service inhouse, as it provides flexibility during seasonal peaks & troughs in building consent volumes.”

Also listed in both the open & confidential sections of the agenda are:

  • an update on the 48 council projects with a budget over $5 million, and
  • the council’s vertical construction procurement category strategy
  • an update on the Westgate town centre integrated library & community centre.

Web notification issues

Through Auckland Council’s changes to its website it’s been hard at times to track the whereabouts of information such as resource consent application hearings and submissions on them.

The latest trick I’ve stumbled upon under submissions is submission documents with an opening date for submissions – but no closing date.

I’m writing this on Sunday, so ringing the council to check today would be pointless.

Similarly, the Eden Park Trust’s application for resource consent for a concert at Eden Park stadium on the evening of Waitangi Day (6 February) next year has the submissions period opening on Wednesday, no closing date.

The closing date will very likely appear on the website once the opening date has passed. But tell me, which would you, as a submitter, find the more useful?

Links:
Strategic procurement committee, Monday 11 June at noon, 135 Albert St
11, Update on capital projects over $5 million (addressed further in confidential agenda)
12, Procurement of building consents overflow services (decisions to be made in confidential agenda)
13, Status update: Westgate multipurpose facility (integrated library & community centre) construction (addressed further in confidential agenda)
14, Vertical construction procurement category strategy (addressed further in confidential agenda)

Attribution: Council committee agenda.

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Consents for new homes hit 14-year high of 32,000

Consents for new homes were up 30% in April compared to April last year, and the total for 12 months exceeded 32,000 for the first time since 2004.

Statistics NZ released the figures on Wednesday.

The national consent numbers for April & the year to April (previous April & year in brackets):
Total consents for new homes: 2729 (2106), up 29.6%; 32,015 (30,371), up %
Total values (including alterations & additions) & floor areas for new homes: month – $1.122 billion ($921 million), up 21.9%; 435,000m² (378,000m²), up 15.2%; year – $13.931 billion ($12.658 billion), up 10.1%; 5.555 million m² (5.462 million m²), up1.7%
Standalone homes: 1614 (1487), up 8.5%; 21,009 (21,179), down 0.8%
Apartments: 358 (228), up 57%; 3536 (2874), up 23%
Retirement village units: 191 (46), up 315%; 1962 (1702), up 15.3%
Suburban townhouses & flats: 566 (345), up 64%; 5508 (4616), up 19.3%
*Total values include additions & alterations, but floor areas don’t.

Consents for both the month & the year rose in 10 Auckland wards and fell in 3 (6 differing by small margins).

Around Auckland by ward, this April & last, and the April 2018 year & previous 12 months:

Region: 1163 (726), 11,629 (10,226)
Rodney: 45 (81), 910 (882)
Albany: 240 (125), 2468 (2508)
North Shore: 202 (25), 747 (494)
Waitakere: 73 (25), 608 (617)
Waitemata & Gulf: 5 (166), 1145 (1104)
Whau: 91 (51), 401 (343)
Albert-Eden-Roskill: 13 (25), 822 (674)
Orakei: 65 (4), 290 (283)
Maungakiekie-Tamaki: 55 (31), 721 (417)
Howick: 79 (28), 736 (452)
Manukau: 81 (32), 930 (394)
Manurewa-Papakura: 142 (73), 1161 (1106)
Franklin: 72 (60), 690 (952)

Attribution: Statistics NZ tables & release.

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Updated: Houses’ share of consents falls further as overall momentum slows

Published & updated twice 1 May 2018

The annual rate of building consents for new homes topped 31,000 last November, reaching 31,123, and in the following 4 months has risen by just 269.

After double-digit percentage rises over the previous 5 years, the rise in the last 12 months was only 2.5%.

The share of standalone houses for the last 12 months was 66.5%, down from 67.4% in the year to February, 70% in the year to March 2017.

Apartments and suburban townhouses & flats were well up for the year, by 27.5% for apartments and 14.8% for the townhouse category, but the retirement village sector’s production rate remains well below the last 3 years’ figures

Consents in Auckland were up for the month, from 942 a year ago to 1082, but were up by only 993 (9.7%) for the 12 months, to 11,192.

The Auckland consents comprised 492 standalone houses, 361 apartments, 221 suburban units & 8 retirement village units. Statistics NZ construction statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said three-quarters of the apartments were in 3 projects.

The national consent numbers for March & the year to March (previous March & year in brackets):
Total consents for new homes: 2926 (2779), up 5.3%; 31,392 (30,626), up 2.5%
Total values & floor areas for new homes: month – $1.257 billion ($1.199 billion), up 4.9%; 483,000m² (491,000m²), down 1.7%; year – $13.73 billion ($12.685 billion), up 8.2%; 5.498 million m² (5.523 million m²), up 4.9%
Standalone homes: 1753 (1923), down 8.8%; 20,882 (21,434), down 2.6%
Apartments: 492 (252), up 95.2%; 3406 (2671), up 27.5%
Retirement village units: 64 (197), down 67.5%; 1817 (1915), down 5.1%
Suburban townhouses & flats: 617 (407), up 51.6%; 5287 (4606), up 14.8%
*Total values include additions & alterations, but floor areas don’t.

Around Auckland by ward, this March & last, and the March 2017 year & previous 12 months:

Region: 1082 (942), 11,192 (10,199)
Rodney: 53 (122), 946 (890)
Albany: 195 (227), 2353 (2518)
North Shore: 43 (53), 570 (486)
Waitakere: 44 (55), 560 (652)
Waitemata & Gulf: 121 (116), 1306 (961)
Whau: 35 (40), 361 (310)
Albert-Eden-Roskill: 71 (37), 834 (670)
Orakei: 19 (12), 229 (306)
Maungakiekie-Tamaki: 31 (26), 697 (412)
Howick: 61 (24), 685 (495)
Manukau: 197 (38), 881 (394)
Manurewa-Papakura: 162 (114), 1092 (1108)
Franklin: 50 (78), 678 (997)

All construction for March compared to March 2017, and the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months:
Total: $2.003 billion ($2.077 billion), down 3.6%; $20.78 billion ($19.529 billion), up 6.4%
Non-residential: $714 million ($837 million), down 14.7%; $6.633 billion ($6.463 billion), up 2.6%

Attribution: Statistics NZ.

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Quiet February for consents, standalone market share slides, Auckland share up

Consents for new homes issued in February fell by 6 from February last year, from 2418 to 2412. The tally for 12 months rose by just 83 to 31,245 (30,162).

For the year, consents for standalone homes fell 1.3% behind the previous 12 months, apartments jumped 29.2%, suburban townhouses & flats 12% and retirement village units 5.3%.

The further shift toward intensification and the growth in Auckland’s share of consents have reduced the standalone share of new housing consents nationally to 67.4% in the February year. Overall floor area was up marginally (0.6%) but the value of proposed new homes (plus additions & alterations) rose 9.3%.

Auckland’s share of consents for 12 months rose from 33.3% in the February 2017 year to 35.4%.

Consents were down 1-2% on Auckland’s borders, north & south, continued to decline in Canterbury and jumped in the Bay of Plenty & Wellington.

The overall picture is of a static residential construction market that covers the net inflow of migrants but not total population growth, and continues the intensification trend which should speed up as Aucklanders take advantage of the new rules for suburbia under the region’s unitary plan.

The figures released by Statistics NZ yesterday show residential consents in Auckland were down by 21 for February to 779 (800) and 8 short of the tally in February 2016. For the year, Auckland consents have advanced by 10% to 11,052 (10,045) after rising 5.6% the previous year.

The total value of residential consents nationally in February rose 5.2% from a year ago to $1.12 billion ($1.06 billion). For the year, the increase was 9.3% to $13.67 billion ($12.5 billion), down from 14%-plus increases in the previous 2 years & 27%-plus in 2013 & 2014.

The national residential consent numbers for February & the February 2018 year (previous February & year in brackets):
Total consents for new homes: 2412 (2418), 31,245 (30,162)
Total values & floor areas for new homes: $963 million ($912 million), up 5.6%; 434,000m² (450,000m²), down 3.5%; $13.671 billion ($12.507 billion), up 9.3%; 5.506 million m² (5.475 million m²), up 0.6%
Standalone homes: 1664 (1761), down 5.5%; 21,052 (21,326), down 1.3%

Standalones’ share of annual consents: 67.4% (70.7%)
Apartments: 133 (225), down 40.9%; 3166 (2451) up 29.2%
Retirement village units: 107 (59), up 81.4%; 1950 (1852), up 5.3%
Suburban townhouses & flats: 508 (373), up 36.2%; 5077 (4533), up 12%

Around Auckland by ward, this February & last, and the February 2017 year & previous 12 months:

Region: 779 (800), 11,052 (10,045) – 35.6% of annual total
Rodney: 57 (87), 1015 (868)
Albany: 196 (196), 2385 (2469)
North Shore: 30 (72), 580 (508)
Waitakere: 49 (44), 571 (648)
Waitemata & Gulf: 11 (73), 1301 (859)
Whau: 20 (2), 366 (287)
Albert-Eden-Roskill: 117 (33), 800 (673)
Orakei: 22 (71), 222 (303)
Maungakiekie-Tamaki: 31 (6), 692 (408)
Howick: 69 (51), 648 (520)
Manukau: 64 (14), 722 404)
Manurewa-Papakura: 76 (75), 1044 (1087)
Franklin: 37 (76), 706 (1011)

Residential consents this February & last, and the February 2017 year & previous 12 months, in a selection of provinces:

Northland: 115 (131), 1237 (1261), down 1.9%
Waikato: 264 (294), 3469 (3512), down 1.2%
Bay of Plenty: 166 (226), 2630 (2055), up 28%
Wellington: 239 (133), 2432 (1711), up 42.1%
Canterbury: 375 (361), 4962 (6319), down 21.5%

Total & non-residential:

Total construction consents rose 12.6% in February to $1.68 billion ($1.42 billion), and 10% for the year to $20.855 billion ($18.956 billion).

Non-residential rose 28.3% for the month to $526 million ($410 million), and 11% for the year to $6.756 billion ($6.086 billion).

Attribution: Statistics NZ tables.

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Home consents get lift in January, though Stats NZ calls it flat

When Statistics NZ released the monthly building consent figures on Friday, it described the number of consents for new homes in January as “relatively flat”, after taking its seasonal adjustment into account.

There are several ways to look at this statistic, but “flat” is not a description that ought to be top of the list.

The 1916 consents for new homes issued in January were a higher January total than in any of the previous 13 years, and higher than in 16 of the last 18 years.

January is the traditional quiet month. A rise in January consents doesn’t mean consents will be higher through the rest of the year, but this January’s rise indicates a stronger market in standalone homes and 2 of the 3 intensive residential sectors.

Standalones were up 10% on the previous January but the annual figure fell slightly. Apartment consents (the most volatile market segment) were up over 16% for the month and have risen 34% over 12 months. Retirement village consents were halved for the month and, for the moving annual total, have been just short of the previous year’s tally. Suburban townhouses & flats were up on both counts, by over 23% for the month and nearly 10% for the year.

The higher January consent figure came off the back of a rise in consents through 2017 – consents exceeded 2700 in 6 of the previous 10 months, and 3000 in 2 of them. In 2016, consents exceeded 2700 in 4 months.

Using the seasonal adjustment smoothing mechanism, January matched December and was down slightly on October, and well short of the figures for those busier months – August, September & November.

It’s now 7 years since the residential construction market bottomed. As the global financial crisis took effect from late 2007, the consent level for new homes held up in January 2008 but hit its lowest level for that month in 45 years in 2009, falling to 812 consents. 2 years later the market still hadn’t picked up and January consents were down at 867.

The present level is more than double that, but despite a gradual rise in consents the number of new homes is still barely matching the net inflow of migrants, let alone natural population growth.

Statistics NZ released the monthly migration figures last week, showing a net inflow still above 70,000/year, although a new measure introduced last year gets the total down to 64,500.

That new measure defines migrants using their travel history and the “12/16-month rule”, a measure that requires a follow-up rather than reliance on the card filled in at the border on arrival.

The national consent numbers for January & the year to January (previous January & year in brackets):
Total consents for new homes:  1916 (1752), up 9.4%; 31,251 (30,123), up 3.7%
Total values & floor areas for new homes: month – $769 million ($619 million), up 24.4%; 351,000m² (322,000m²), up 8.9%; year – $11.626 billion ($10.625 billion), up 9.4%; 5.522 million m² (5.476 million m²), up 0.8%
Standalone homes: 1380 (1253), up 10.1%; 21,149 (21,277), down 0.6%
Apartments: 135 (116), up 16.4%; 3258 (2430), up 34.1%
Retirement village units: 49 (98), down 50%; 1902 (1915), down 0.7%
Suburban townhouses & flats: 352 (285), up 23.5%; 4942 (4501), up 9.8%

Auckland residential consents for January compared to January 2017, the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months, and the percentage increase for the year (and month for the region):
Region: 718 (512), up 40.2%; 11,073 (10,032), up 10.4%
Rodney: 46 (55), 1045 (861), up 21.4%
Albany: 130 (194), 2385 (2455), down 2.9%
North Shore: 78 (17), 622 (455), up 36.7%
Waitakere: 55 (18), 586 (648), down 9.6%
Waitemata & Gulf: 5 (4), 1363 (965), up 41.2%
Whau: 24 (7), 348 (293), up 18.8%
Albert-Eden-Roskill: 94 (22), 716 (660), up 8.5%
Orakei: 19 (8), 271 (240), up 12.9%
Maungakiekie-Tamaki: 55 (25), 667 (423), up 57.8%
Howick: 31 (15), 630 (520), up 21.2%
Manukau: 34 (17), 672 (441), up 52.4%
Manurewa-Papakura: 106 (50), 1043 (1079), down 3.3%
Franklin: 41 (80) 745 (992), down 24.9%

All construction for January compared to January 2017, and the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months:
Total: $1.42 billion ($1.108 billion), up 28.2%; $20.677 billion ($19.055 billion), up 8.5%
Non-residential: $1.389 billion ($1.086 billion), up 27.8%; $20.255 billion ($18.572 billion), up 9.1%

Attribution: Statistics NZ tables & release.

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Housing consents hold above 31,000/year, non-residential up 8%

Stats NZ said today building consents for new homes stayed just above an annual rate of 31,000 in December. In Auckland, the 10,867 consents were the highest level since 2004 and up 8.4% on 2016.

After 1752 consents nationally in January, consents were above 2100 every month and above 3000 twice.

The numbers of retirement village units, townhouses, flats & other units consented in Auckland in 2017 were records. There were also plenty of apartments consented, but not as many as in the early 2000s.

Stats NZ construction statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said: “Over a third of all new homes in New Zealand were consented in the Auckland region last year, which is in line with Auckland’s share of the New Zealand population. This is the first time since 2004 that the proportion of new homes consented in Auckland exceeded their share of the population.”

The 5549 multi-unit buildings consented in Auckland in 2017 were:

  • 2442 apartments – 75% of all apartments consented nationally
  • 868 retirement village units – a record high and accounting for 44% of all retirement village units consented nationally
  • 2239 townhouses, flats & units – a record high and accounting for 46% of all townhouses, flats & units consented nationally.

In contrast, only one-quarter (5318) of all new standalone house consents were for Auckland.

Non-residential up 8%

Building consents for all non-residential buildings including offices, education buildings, storage & cultural buildings were up 8% to $6.5 billion for the year.
Ms McKenzie said social & cultural buildings and hotels were the main contributors to the increase in value: “3 big projects consented last year were the NZ International Convention Centre, Auckland’s Aotea Centre and Turanga (Christchurch’s new central library). These boosted the category known as social, cultural & religious buildings.”

The non-residential building types with the highest value movements were:

  • social, cultural & religious – up $257 million to $630 million
  • hotels, motels & other short-term accommodation – up $208 million to $457 million
  • factories & industrial buildings – up $193 million to $662 million, and
  • education buildings – down $202 million to $1 billion.

Ms McKenzie said the decrease in the value of education buildings consented was mainly due to the boost of education-related consents in Auckland & Otago in 2016.

She said the increase in hotels, motels & other short-term accommodation consented coincided with a rise in international visitors: “Hotels in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch & the Queenstown-Lakes district have contributed to this increase.”

The national consent numbers for December & the 2017 year (previous December & year in brackets):
Total consents for new homes: 2169 (2205), 31,087 (30,066)
Total values & floor areas for new homes: $953 million ($989 million), down 3.6%; 392,000m² (405,000m²), down 3.2%; $13.454 billion ($12.532 billion), up 7.4%; 5.493 million m² (5.47 million m²), up 0.4%
Standalone homes: 1424 (1580), 21,022 (21,310)
Apartments: 240 (138), 3239 (2403)
Retirement village units: 175 (193), 1951 (1952)
Suburban townhouses & flats: 330 (294), 4875 (4401)

Auckland residential consents for December, compared to December 2016, and the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months:
Region: 876 (740), 10,867 (9930)
Rodney: 58 (60), 1054 (866)
Albany:  53 (170), 2449 (2288)
North Shore: 105 (28), 561 (451)
Waitakere: 35 (43), 529 (676)
Waitemata & Gulf: 6 (9), 1362 (1041)
Whau: 33 (14), 331 (297)
Albert-Eden-Roskill: 53 (112), 644 (667)
Orakei: 14 (15), 260 (242)
Maungakiekie-Tamaki: 20 (129), 637 (416)
Howick: 42 (22), 614 (522)
Manukau: 225 (21), 655 (460)
Manurewa-Papakura: 94 (59), 987 (1066)
Franklin: 38 (58), 784 (938)

All construction for December compared to December 2016, and the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months:
Total: $1.468 billion ($1.612 billion), down 8.9%; $20.354 billion ($19.03 billion), up 7%
Non-residential: $485 million ($595 million), down 18.5%; $6.499 billion ($6.019 billion), up 8%.

Attribution: Stats NZ tables & releases.

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Auckland jump pushes home consents over 31,000/year, standalone share drops further

Consents for new homes jumped over the 31,000/year mark in November after being stuck in a 30,000/year band for most of the previous year.

Stats NZ said today the number of new homes consented in Auckland hit a 15-year high of 1450 in November, boosted by apartments. You can check the numbers around Auckland’s 13 wards below.

This rise in Auckland helped lift the national total of new homes consented to a 13-year high.

Consents for new homes & upgrades nationally for the year were worth $930 million more than for the previous 12 months.

Stats NZ construction statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said: “In November, Auckland home consents reached their second-highest level on record. This is beaten only by October 2002, when nearly 2000 new homes were consented due to a much larger spike in apartments.”

Nationally, 3262 new homes were consented in November (3005 in November 2016), including the highest number of townhouses, flats & units on record – 577 – and a 9-year high of 543 apartments.

“November is typically the month with the highest number of new homes consented, as people try to get plans approved before Christmas,” Ms McKenzie said.

“November’s rebound in home consents was driven by apartments, which tend to fluctuate a lot and were particularly low in October.
“Looking at the longer-term picture, building consents for apartments & townhouses have seen double-digit growth year after year, while consents for standalone houses have levelled off.”

Standalone homes’ share of total consents for the year fell from 70.4% in November 2016 to 68%.

The national consent numbers for November & the year to November (previous November & year in brackets):
Total consents for new homes: 3262 (3005), 31,123 (30,399)
Total values for new homes:  $1.118 billion ($1.001 billion), $13.49 billion ($12.561 billion)
Standalone homes: 1870 (1886), 21,178 (21,391)
Apartments: 543 (407), 3137 (2692)
Retirement village units: 272 (205), 1969 (1918)
Suburban townhouses & flats: 577 (507), 4839 (4398)

Auckland residential consents for November, compared to November 2016, and the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months:
Region: 1450 (1188), 10,731 (10,137)
Rodney: 89 (55), 1056 (909)
Albany: 255 (286), 2466 (2274)
North Shore: 25 (26), 484 (566)
Waitakere: 66 (84), 537 (664)
Waitemata & Gulf: 388 (155), 1365 (1125)
Whau: 34 (19), 312 (307)
Albert-Eden-Roskill: 36 (104), 703 (699)
Orakei: 67 (42), 261 (297)
Maungakiekie-Tamaki: 138 (21), 746 (306)
Howick: 127 (25), 594 (546)
Manukau: 90 (129), 451 (465)
Manurewa-Papakura: 88 (116), 952 (1062)
Franklin: 47 (126), 804 (917)

All construction for November compared to November 2016, and the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months:
Total: $1.881 billion ($1.607 billion), up 17.1%; $20.498 billion ($19.029 billion), up 7.7%
Non-residential: $549 million ($411 million), up 33.6%; $6.609 billion ($5.98 billion), up 10.5%.

Attribution: Stats NZ tables & release.

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Sharp drop in apartment consents, standalones & total static

Statistics NZ highlighted a sharp drop in apartment consents yesterday when it issued building consent figures for October, but that’s only a small part of the total market, and a volatile one at that.

Most significantly in a comparison with October last year, consents for standalone homes were static and the total for the October year was also static – still in the range of 30-31,000.

Consents for standalone homes & retirement village units were down slightly for the year, apartments & suburban units were up by about 500 each.

The national consent numbers for October and the year to October, compared to October last year, and the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months:

Total consents for new homes: 2549 (2575), down 1% ; 30,866 (30,225), up 2.1%
Total values for new homes:  $1.23 billion ($1.14 billion), up 7.7%; $13.36 billion ($12.46 billion), up 7.2%
Standalone homes: 1806 (1802), up 0.2%; 21,194 (21,369), down 0.8%
Apartments: 78 (229), down 65.9%; 3001 (2555), up 26.4%
Retirement village units: 220 (174), up 26.4%; 1902 (2034), down 6.5%
Suburban townhouses & flats: 445 (370), up 20.3%; 4769 (4267), up 11.8%

All construction for October compared to October last year, and the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months:
Total: $1.86 billion ($1.74 billion), up 6.6%; $20.2 billion ($19.05 billion), up 6.2%
Non-residential: $584 million ($526 million), up 11.2%; $6.47 billion ($6.1 billion), up 6.1%.

Attribution: Statistics NZ tables & release.

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New home consents jammed in 1000/year range

Consents for new homes, which fell one dwelling short of 30,000/year 12 months ago, remained jammed in the 30-31,000/year range in September.

The 2770 consents for the month were up 6% on a year ago, and the 30,892 consents for the year were up 3% on the previous 12 months.

Values, on the other hand, were well ahead – up 14.2% for the month, 8.6% for the year. (Total consent values don’t work out neatly to price/dwelling because of the way consents for large staged projects are handled, but have been running well above rises in consent numbers, an indication at least that housing costs have been rising well beyond official inflation figures.)

Statistics NZ said today it had reviewed how it deals with seasonal adjustment – highlighted by the problem of trying to compare March & April figures when Easter habitually wanders from one month to the other, but affecting other times of the year as well. The issue of staging, especially large apartment projects, is probably a bigger factor.

The result of the revision for August was a cut in seasonally adjusted numbers from 10% to 5.9%. On that basis, I’ll stick to actuals. Click the link below to check that story.

Standalone homes’ share of the market fell 6 percentage points from a year ago to be dead on two-thirds of new consents, and fell by 2.4% annually. The number of standalones consented fell by 49 for the month, 109 for the year.

The less visible sign of intensification, suburban townhouses & flats, has grown to 15% of the market, but the more visible apartment sector has been more volatile, heavily dependent for years on offshore investors to get projects started.

Many of the newest apartment developments are smaller than the big-block central area highrises, coming in under 50 units and more easily bankable as the smallest units in them are no longer in the “shoebox” category.

Apartment consents were up over 53% for the month & 22% for the year. Their share of the new-home market jumped to 10.2% for the year & 15% for the latest month.

The national consent numbers for September and the year to September, compared to September last year, and the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months:

Total consents for new homes: 2770 (2614), up 6%; 30,892 (29,999), up 3%
Total values for new homes:  $1.21 billion ($1.06 billion), up 14.2%; $13.27 billion ($12.22 billion), up 8.6%
Standalone homes: 1843 (1892), down 2.6%; 21,190 (21,299), down 0.5%
Apartments: 415 (270), up 53.7%; 3152 (2570), up 22.6%
Retirement village units: 85 (59), up 44.1%; 1856 (2037), down 8.9%
Suburban townhouses & flats: 427 (393), up 8.7%; 4694 (4093), up 14.7%
Standalone share of consents: 66.5% (72.4%), 68.6% (71%)
Apartments share of consents: 15% (10.3%), 10.2% (8.6%)
Suburban townhouses & flats share of consents: 15.4% (15%), 15.2% (13.6%)

Consents for new homes in the Auckland region rose 6.4% this September compared to last, and 3.6% for the year.

Auckland residential consents for August, compared to August last year, and the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months:

Region: 868 (816, revised up from 752), 10,317 (9960)
Rodney: 58 (64), 1018 (931)
Albany: 183 (270, revised up from 206), 2449 (2300)
North Shore: 37 (110), 427 (609)
Waitakere: 81(47), 578 (601)
Waitemata & Gulf: 192 (33), 1130 (1061)
Whau: 11 (14), 293 (307)
Albert-Eden-Roskill: 18 (15), 801 (625)
Orakei: 13 (15), 246 (357)
Maungakiekie-Tamaki: 54 (20), 635 (351)
Howick: 48 (32), 410 (588)
Manukau: 27 (29), 430 (411)
Manurewa-Papakura: 87 (91), 948 (1015)
Franklin: 59 (76), 952 (804)

The regions consenting the most new homes in the September 2017 year were:

Auckland: 10,317 (up 2.9% from a revised figure for the September 2016 year, up 3.6% on the original)
Canterbury: 5122 (down 18% as the post-quake rebuild continues to wind down, but still at a historically high level)
Waikato: 3596 (up 1.7%)
Bay of Plenty: 2596 (up 4.8%).

Non-residential building consents constituted 31.9% of the total market in September, down from 32.4% for the previous 12 months, and 30.4% for September, down from 31.9% a year earlier.

All construction for September compared to September last year, and the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months:
Total: $1.799 billion ($1.598 billion), up 12.5%; $20.1 billion ($18.71 billion), up 7.5%
Non-residential: $546 million ($509 million), up 7.4%; $6.413 billion ($6.053 billion), up 5.9%.

Related stories:
Today: 10% becomes 5.9%, just like that
2 October 2017: Monthly building consents up on a few spikes, annual growth sluggish

Attribution: Statistics NZ tables & release.

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10% becomes 5.9%, just like that

This little snippet at the foot of today’s building consents release from Statistics NZ shows how kind I was to readers and to statisticians by declining to use seasonally adjusted figures many years ago.

In a note to today’s release, Statistics NZ said: “We have improved the way we calculate the seasonally adjusted number of new homes consented. We now include an adjustment for the timing of Easter. As a result, the seasonally adjusted increase in the number of new homes consented in August 2017 has been revised down from 10% to 5.9%.”

For its latest seasonal adjustment calculations, Statistics NZ said: “The seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings consented fell 2.3%, following a 5.9% rise in August. For houses only, the seasonally adjusted number fell 1.7%, following a 3.1% fall in August.

“The trend for the number of new dwellings consented increased, and is at its highest level since early 2004.”

I haven’t gone back to Statistics NZ to ask what Easter has to do with August. Such a large revision – what looks like an admission of a 41% miscalculation, and lacking a real, credible explanation – will keep me wary of these adjustments for some time yet.

In these columns, you’ll continue to get comparisons from year to year, one month against the same month. Or, as I noted in May 2008, my solution when I quoted then-Government Statistician Geoff Bascand, showing the difficulty Statistics NZ had with seasonal adjustments: “The earlier occurrence of the Easter holidays in March, rather than April, may have contributed to this increase, although the exact effect is difficult to measure.”

My solution was to lump the 2 months together, March + April, when comparing hotel occupancy, for example.

But the changes are refreshing

Government Statistician Liz MacPherson warned of this month’s change in the September release on building consents, under the heading Upcoming changes to seasonally adjusted & trend series. I’ve repeated her message below:

“We are improving the way we calculate the seasonally adjusted & trend series in building consents issued. These changes will be introduced in the September 2017 release (published on 31 October 2017).

“All seasonally adjusted series will now include an adjustment for the timing of Easter. This will account for when Easter moves between March & April. This change will affect the entire time series.

“We are also updating the way we treat outliers in the trend for the value of non-residential building consents. Currently, we exclude consents with a value of $50 million or more from the calculation of the trend. This threshold will be increased to $100 million, backdated to 2006. Currently, these outliers are only excluded from the monthly trend. For consistency, we will now also exclude these outliers from the quarterly trend.”

Despite my scepticism about some calculations, I’m enjoying the changes emanating under new leadership at Statistics NZ. They’re aimed at giving more people better information that they can use – a worthy cause.

Link:
Statistics NZ: Building consents issued seasonal adjustment and trend changes in September 2017

Related story today: New home consents jammed in 1000/year range

Earlier stories:
2 October 2017: A new understanding of seasonal adjustment
13 May 2008: Campers lift March accommodation use, but hotel & motel occupancy down
1 February 2008: Statistics, lies & don’t knows
2 September 2006: Pick an apple, an orange and you can concoct statistical fruitcake
13 May 2006: Late Easter takes March occupancy down
8 May 2006: Don’t believe everything you read…

Attribution: Statistics NZ release.

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