Number of new houses being built in New Zealand rises

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Christchurch and Canterbury lead the way in building of new homes

More new houses are being built in New Zealand than this time last year with earthquake hit Christchurch and Canterbury leading the way.

Canterbury consents were issued for 1,559 new houses in March 2012, the highest monthly total since September 2008, Statistics New Zealand said, an increase of 43% from March 2011.

‘This is the highest number of new houses consented in a month for almost four years, and is a big increase from March last year. Most of this increase was concentrated in the Auckland and Canterbury regions,’ said a spokesman.

Auckland had the largest regional increase in new houses, up 213, including 104 new apartments, in March 2012. No apartments were consented in the Auckland region in March 2011. This is the highest number of new houses consented in the Auckland region since April 2008.

The number of new houses consented also increased significantly in the Canterbury region. The majority of consents were for houses located outside Christchurch city in the surrounding districts. This increase partly reflects the low number of dwellings consented in March last year, likely due to the major earthquake on 22 February 2011. There were small increases in most other regions, with only Gisborne, the West Coast, and Hawke’s Bay recording small decreases.

After removing seasonal fluctuations, there were large increases in the number of new houses, both including and excluding apartments, in March 2012. The trends for the number of new houses, both including and excluding apartments, have both been rising over the last year.

The value of residential building consents also rose significantly in March 2012, up 30% from March 2011. This is also the highest monthly figure since September 2008.

In Canterbury, earthquake related building consents totalled $28 million in March 2012. Of this, $19 million was for non-residential work and $9 million was for residential work, including 16 new houses.

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