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NZ residential building consents hit high

NZN 29/07/2016 Tina Morrison

New Zealand residential building consents reached their highest annual total in more than a decade, driven by activity in Auckland and surrounding regions.

Seasonally adjusted consents increased 16 per cent to 29,097 in the year through June, the highest total for a June year since 2004 and the highest annual total since the April 2005 year, Statistics New Zealand said. For the month of June, new home consents rose 16 per cent from May and 35 per cent from June last year, the agency said.

Record net migration has been putting pressure on the nation's housing market where a shortage of supply has pushed up prices in Auckland, the country's largest city, and is spreading to surrounding regions.

A plan for Auckland housing released this week has proposed the city be more densely populated with a larger urban area and less prescriptive development rules, to help spur construction and ease the shortage.

"After relatively subdued growth over the first half of the year (particularly in Auckland), the number of consents surged in June," ASB Bank senior economist Jane Turner said.

In the June month, 12 of 16 regions recorded a rise in building consents issued compared with the year earlier month. Auckland led the increase, with an extra 217 consents, taking the total to 921.

Friday's figures show the value of building consents rose 42 per cent to $1.82 billion in June from the year earlier month. The value of residential buildings increased 30 per cent to $1.08b, while the value of non-residential buildings jumped 63 per cent to $739m, boosted by a $180m consent for a new Acute Services Building at Christchurch Hospital.

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