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30-03-2011

Housing consents hit two-year low

Landlords.co.nz

The seasonally adjusted number of new houses authorised in February, excluding apartments, has fallen 7.8% from January, the lowest level for two years, according to Statistics New Zealand.

The seasonally adjusted number of new houses authorised in February, excluding apartments, has fallen 7.8% from January, the lowest level for two years, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Once the volatile apartment category is included, total residential consents fell 9.7%.

"Looking at the longer-term trend, the number of new houses authorised, excluding apartments, has continued to decline, and is down almost a third since the recent peak in March 2010. The trend is similar when apartments are included - it has declined 26% since April 2010," SNZ said.

In February without adjusting for seasonal effects, consents were issued for 973 new houses (including apartments), 884 new houses (excluding apartments) and 98 new apartment units.

The February figures show a reversal on the January gains when total consents rose 9.1% to 1,115 compared to December, suggesting a sharp fall off in building activity in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake.

The value of consents issued for residential buildings was $389 million in February, down 20% compared with a year earlier. The value of non-residential buildings also fell, down 19% to $257 million.

In the Canterbury region 148 new homes were authorised in February, 101 fewer than in February 2010 - the largest fall of any region. Canterbury was followed by Waikato, down 59 homes to 107, and Northland, down 53 homes to 42.

The total value of all buildings fell 19% to $645 million in the month compared to a year earlier.

Source: Landlords.co.nz

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