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Home-building and hospitals push up November building consents

The pace of residential home-building continues to pick up, although few new apartments are being built and non-residential construction is down across most sectors, according to November 2009 building consent totals released this morning by Statistics New Zealand.

By Paul McBeth

Consents were issued in November for some 1,458 new housing units, excluding apartments, an increase of 3.1% on November 2008, and follows an 11% increase between the October months of 2008 and 2009. The value of non-apartment residential consents, at $537 million in November, was 18% higher than the same month a year earlier.

Canterbury, Wellington and Hawke's Bay showed the strongest residential unit growth. While housing consents have been on the rise since May of this year, activity remains "considerably lower than the levels seen before mid-2007", business statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said in a statement.

Meanwhile, non-residential consents continued to show a lumpy pattern, with the value of consents issued in November falling 2.3% to $389 million compared with a year earlier, bolstered by several new hospital projects gaining consents during the month, which accounted for consents worth $88 million.

Farm and storage building consents were hardest hit for the month, their total value down $39 million and $22 million respectively for the month, although both are relatively small contributors to the total non-residential building sector.

Just 42 consents were issued for apartment construction during November, pulling down to 1.2% the growth between the Novembers of 2009 and 2008.

Reflecting the depth of the recent recession, the total value of all building consents issued in the 12 months to November was down 11% at $1.242 billion, with residential buildings down 20% and non-residential buildings up 0.7%.


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