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House consents at 13-year high in May

NZN 29/06/2017 Sophie Boot

Local councils across New Zealand approved 7 per cent more residential building consents in May, with house consents at a 13-year high as the trend for new dwellings continues to increase.

The seasonally-adjusted gain in May followed falls in March and April, Statistics New Zealand said.

A total 2794 new dwellings were consented, including 2039 houses, the highest monthly number since June 2004.

On an annual basis, dwelling consents rose 8 per cent, with 30,645 residential buildings consented in the year.

"The trend for new homes is recovering after dipping in late 2016," prices, accommodation, and construction senior manager Jason Attewell said.

"It's more than double the level of the 2011 low point, and nearly back to the mid-2016 peak."

The trend for new stand-alone houses is also rising, Stats NZ said.

New Zealand's housing market has been on a tear, with demand outstripping supply and pushing up values.

The new homes trend generally decreased from 2004 to 2009, recovered temporarily in 2010, then generally increased until mid-2016 when it dipped briefly.

In Auckland, the country's largest city, the lack of housing supply has been most acute as record migration drives demand.

Friday's figures show 10,379 homes were consented in the year through May, up 10 per cent from the previous year. However, the trend is showing signs of decreasing in Auckland, Stats NZ said.

Including alterations, $1.8 billion of building work was consented in May. That included $1.3b worth of residential buildings and $605 million for non-residential buildings.

On an annual basis, the value of consents rose 12 per cent to $19.3b.

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