The number of new residential building consents issued dropped 7% in June compared to May, but remained up by 4.1% compared to June last year.
According to Statistics NZ, consents were issued for 2560 new dwellings in June, compared to 2794 in May and 2752 in June last year.
There was little to cheer about in the figures for the Auckland market where there is a growing housing shortage, with 906 consents issued for the Auckland region in June which was up slightly on the 885 issued in May but down on the 921 issued in June last year.
At least 1230 new homes need to built in Auckland each month just to keep pace with its surging, migration-fuelled population growth.
But with June’s consents running at just under three quarters of what is required and net population growth from migration at record levels, the region’s housing shortage is worsening by the month.
“Annual new home numbers are nearing those last seen in 2004, although they remain well below the all time peak of the mid-1970s when consents reached about 39,000 a year,” Statistics NZ prices and construction manager Jason Atwell said.
On an annual basis, 30,453 new dwelling consents were issued in the 12 months to June, compared to 29,097 in the year to June 2016.
Outside of Auckland, the numbers were pretty lacklustre in most major centres.
In the Waikato, 263 new homes were consented in June, which was well down on the 376 consented in May and the 335 consented in June last year.
In the Bay of Plenty 226 new homes were consented in June compared to 220 in May and 246 in June last year.
In Wellington 269 homes were consented in June compared to 227 in May and 275 in June last year.
And numbers were well down in Canterbury, where 342 homes were consented in June compared to 477 in May and 467 In June last year.
Significantly the total value of new dwelling consents issued was also down, dropping to $917 million in June compared to $1.034 billion in May (-1.3%) and $929 million in June last year (-1.3%), suggesting the residential building boom may be taking a breather, if it hasn’t already peaked.
There was also a big drop in the value of residential alterations and additions consented, which declined to $133 million in June from $195 million in May and $152 million in June last year.
Of the 2560 new homes consented in June, 1691 were stand alone houses, 268 were apartments, 222 were retirement village units and 379 were townhouses or units.
The commercial building sector fared no better, with the value of non-residential building consents dropping to $451 million in June from $605 million in May and $739 million in June last year.
“In Auckland, where there is the greatest need for new homes, we’re seeing only gradual increases,” Westpac senior economist Satish Ranchhod said in a Westpac IQ newsletter on the consent figures.
“Just over 10,300 new dwellings were consented in Auckland over the past year.
“While that does include a trend increase in multi-unit consents (such as apartments), it is still below what is needed to keep up with population growth,” he said.