Home building consents rebounded in February 2017, but were up only slightly from February 2016, said Stats NZ.
A total of 2,418 new homes were consented in February 2017 – up 1.6 percent from February 2016.
In seasonally adjusted terms, this was a 14 percent increase from January 2017. However, this only partly reversed large falls in November 2016 and December 2016.
“While we saw a strong seasonally adjusted increase in February 2017, the actual number of homes consented was up only slightly from 2016,” business indicators senior manager Neil Kelly said.
In the year ended February 2017, 30,162 new homes were consented – the most for a February year since 2005. This total includes 10,045 new homes in Auckland – also the most for a February year since 2005.
However, the trend for the number of new homes consented has fallen, after reaching a 12-year high in mid-2016. This decrease has been driven by Canterbury and Auckland, although the trends for other parts of New Zealand are also showing signs of flattening or decreasing.
Building consents are an indicator of future building activity, and almost all consented work is eventually completed.
Recent building consent decreases are not reflected in the Value of Building Work Put in Place: December 2016 quarter, which showed that building activity continued to increase.