30 Mar 2009

Boost for building consents, underlying trend still down

6:30 pm on 30 March 2009

A rise in permits for apartment units has boosted building consents in February.

Statistics New Zealand says the number of new dwellings rose a seasonally adjusted 12% in February compared to the previous month.

In February 1,059 new dwellings were authorised, including 193 apartments.

Excluding new apartments, the number of seasonally adjusted consents rose 0.3% on a month earlier, the first increase in nine months.

Statistics New Zealand says the trend indicates that the number of authorised new dwellings, excluding apartments, has continued to fall since June 2007.

ASB Bank chief economist Nick Tuffley says the increase reflects a poor January, when the number of permits hit its lowest monthly total since the series began in 1982. He says the underlying downward trend has not yet turned round.

The value of consents for all residential buildings, including alterations and additions, fell 42% to $358 million compared with a year ago.

The value of consents issued for non-residential buildings rose 6% to $382 million.