Fast Facts

Housing pushes annual inflation rate to 1.9 percent

The consumers price index (CPI) had an annual increase of 1.9 percent, and rose 0.5 percent from the June 2017 quarter, Stats NZ said.

This comes after 0.0 percent quarterly, and 1.7 percent annual, inflation last quarter. Collectively, housing-related costs had the largest upward contribution in the September 2017 quarter, slightly offset by falls in transport prices.

Increases in housing–related costs

  • Rents rose 0.6 percent in the September 2017 quarter and 2.2 percent in 2017.
  • Construction of new dwellings (excluding land) rose 1.1 percent this quarter and 5.4 percent in the year to September 2017.
  • Local authority rates rose 3.5 percent this quarter and 3.7 percent in 2017.
  • Dwelling insurance rose 6.1 percent this quarter and 12 percent in 2017.

Regionally, rents in Canterbury had a 1.9 percent decrease in the latest year; this is the fifth consecutive annual decrease in rents for the region. The annual increase of 2.6 percent in construction of new dwellings (excluding land) is the lowest annual increase since September 2010, before the Canterbury earthquakes.

Auckland had the lowest annual increases in rent and construction costs since March 2015. In Wellington, construction costs rose 1.4 percent the September 2017 quarter (3.2 percent annually), and rents rose 1.0 percent (3.7 percent annual). This was the largest annual increase in Wellington rents since December 2008.

“Rents and construction costs in Wellington are rising faster than for the rest of the country,” prices senior manager Jason Attewell said. “Annual rents rose by more in Wellington than Auckland, while Christchurch rents fell.”

Decreases in petrol prices, and other transport costs

  • Petrol prices fell 1.7 percent in the September 2017 quarter and increased 4.5 percent in 2017.
  • International air fares fell 5.5 percent this quarter and 2.7 percent in the year to September 2017.
  • Vehicle relicensing fees fell 8.0 percent this quarter and 8.0 percent in 2017.
  • Prices for second-hand motor cars fell 0.9 percent this quarter and increased 1.8 percent in 2017.

“In the latest quarter petrol prices fell 3 cents, to an average of $1.83 a litre, despite rising through August and September 2017,” Mr Attewell said.

“Average petrol prices in the CPI differ from what you see at the petrol station, because they take into account supermarket and loyalty card discounts.”

Source: Stats NZ

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