29 Sep 2017

Building consents hit six-month high

2:53 pm on 29 September 2017

A surge in the number of apartments and retirement village units has pushed up building consents to a six-month high.

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Photo: 123.rf

Official figures show the number of permits rose by a seasonally adjusted 10.2 percent in August, compared with the month before.

It was the strongest monthly gain since February.

The number for standalone houses given approval was marginally lower than in July, although there was a strong gain in Auckland.

The number of consents for the 12 months to the end of August was 30,700, just below the 12-year highs of last year.

ANZ senior economist Phil Borkin said the sector was close to capacity, and that was keeping a lid on new-house building.

"This is probably as high as it's going to be able to get for a while just given that firms can't find staff, there's capital constraints, and then just some of the cost inflation in the industry means that some of the viability of the projects is just hard to stack up.

"So certainly not negative on the outlook by any means, but kind of a plateauing at a strong level."

The figures show about a third of consents issued over the past year were in the Auckland region, which also accounted for more than a third of consents for non-residential properties such as shops, factories, and schools.

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