Stats NZ: Home consents in New Zealand hit record levels

Region that dominated others had 19,936 new consents

Stats NZ: Home consents in New Zealand hit record levels

Home consents across New Zealand remain at record levels despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, and recent housing reforms, according to Statistics New Zealand’s (Stats NZ) latest data.

In the year to October 2021, Stats NZ recorded 47,715 new homes consented, a 26% increase from the figure in the year to October 2020.

Stats NZ construction statistics manager Michael Heslop said the latest figure marks another record for the annual number of new homes consented in New Zealand.

“The annual number of new homes consented has been setting new records since March 2021 when the previous high (in the year ended February 1974) of 40,025 was surpassed for the first time,” Heslop said.

Among the regions, Auckland had the highest number of new homes consented in the year ended October 2021, with 19,936 (up 27% compared with the year ended October 2020). Following in its footsteps were Canterbury with 7,500 (up 31%), Waikato with 4,956 (up 23%), and Wellington with 3,483 (up 14%).

“It is interesting to note that the number of new homes consented in Canterbury is now higher than during the 2014 post-earthquake peak, when a record 7,308 homes were consented,” Heslop said.

Commenting on the latest number of home consents, Minister for Building and Construction Poto Williams said the government continues to innovate to provide people with access to quality, affordable housing choices across the country.

“In March 2021, we broke the previous record set in the 1970s for the most homes consented to be built in a year. Now, for the eighth month in a row, we have continued to raise the bar even higher,” Williams added.

Read more: Stats NZ releases home consents for September

The number of new homes consented per 1,000 residents across New Zealand hit 9.3% for the year ended October 2021, up from 7.5% in the October 2020 year but below the series high of 13.4% in the year ended December 1973.

“The nature of homes has changed since the 1970s, including a shift towards building bigger houses in recent decades,” Heslop said.

However, in October 2021, the seasonally adjusted number of new homes fell by 2.0%, which followed another 2.0% drop in September 2021. Meanwhile, the actual number of new homes consented in the same month was 4,043, up 10% from the October 2020 month.

Meanwhile, during the same month, the national median weekly rent hit a new high of $560 following the recent lockdowns, an 8% increase year-on-year, according to the Trade Me Property (Trade Me) Rental Price Index for October 2021.

It also showed a 3% increase in demand for rentals compared to the same month last year. However, supply could not keep up with demand as the number of rentals on the market dropped compared to the same month in 2020.

“Supply was down 7% nationwide, with the biggest drops seen in Nelson/Tasman (-41%), Bay of Plenty (-27%), and Canterbury (-25%),” said Trade Me sales director Gavin Lloyd.