Good news for Auckland home seekers in latest building consent figures

The latest building consent figures contain some relief for Auckland home buyers with 1116 new dwelling consents issued in the city in July, up 58.8% compared to June and up 31% compared to July last year, according to Statistics NZ.

That breaks through the target of 1083 consents a month which Auckland Council has estimated are required just to keep pace with the region’s rocketing population growth.

However, the challenge facing the Council and central government in the Auckland housing market will be to not just maintain the number of the number of new dwelling consents being issued at July’s level but to increase it even further.

If new houses are becoming available in the region at around 1100 a month it should mean that the region’s housing shortage isn’t getting any worse, as long as net migration numbers don’t increase further. However, it won’t be enough to put a dent in the existing housing shortfall that’s estimated to be between 35,000 and 45,000 homes.

July’s dwelling consents were also up strongly in the Waikato, where 296 consents were issued compared to 207 in June and 211 in July last year, the Bay of Plenty where 181 consents were issued compared to 145 in June and 125 in July last year and Canterbury where 650 consents were issued compared to 544 in June and 609 in July last year.

The high number of new consents issued in Canterbury is likely to put further downward pressure on prices in the region where there are increasing signs that the supply of homes has caught with demand and is possibly starting to overtake it.

In Wellington only 106 new dwelling consents were issued in July, compared to 88 in June and 119 in July last year, which means Wellington had fewer consents issued than Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury or Otago (see charts below for full regional dwelling consents trends).

Across the country 2824 new dwelling consents were issued in July compared to 2042 in June and 2282 in July last year.

The total value of new dwellings consented in July was $828 million with another $147 million of structural alteration work consented. taking the total value of new residential building work consented to $976 million for the month, compared to $780 million in July last year.

On the commercial building front, $455 million of non-residential building work was consented in July, almost unchanged from the $454 million consented in June but down from the $513 million consented in July last year.

July’s figures included $122 million of office buildings, $108 million of retail premises and $67 million of educational buildings.