30 Sep 2016

Building consents growth strong, despite August fall

6:46 pm on 30 September 2016

The number of building consents issued fell last month, but the annual rate was at the highest level in more than a decade.

Christchurch Construction.

Christchurch Construction. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Official figures show a seasonally adjusted fall of 1 percent in August from the month before.

Leaving aside the volatile apartment sector, consents for new houses rose 4.4 percent.

But on an annual basis, the number of consents was up 14 percent, the strongest growth since early 2005.

Auckland remains the centre of building activity, while Otago, Bay of Plenty and Waikato are making strong gains.

The value of consents for dwellings for the month was a record $1.2 billion.

Westpac Bank economist David Norman said construction activity was strong.

"So we're seeing in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Queenstown, strong construction activity, strong population growth ... but we're also seeing other parts of the country begin to take off," he said.

Mr Norman said more houses needed to be built in Auckland quickly to meet the strong demand.