Authorities have approved 300 Christchurch earthquake related consents worth $76 million since September, 67 of them for relocatable homes to house displaced residents, Statistics New Zealand said today.
However consents fell sharply in Christchurch during June, when compared to previous months.
ASB economist Jane Turner said it was possible households had put repair plans on hold as they assessed damage to their homes during the early June earthquakes.
"The number of consents issued remains extremely low and has yet to pick up in a meaningful sense. We expect residential repair work and construction of replacement housing will begin in early 2012," Turner said.
Building consents issued nationwide for new houses fell 4.5 per cent to 965 in June from May in seasonally adjusted terms after three months of rises.
Despite this, the trend in new homes being consented, excluding apartment units, continued to indicate a gradual rise, although Statistics New Zealand said it was still not possible to confirm whether this was a consistent upward movement.
Including the volatile apartment unit category, building consents for new dwellings fell 1.4 per cent to 1031 seasonally adjusted in June from May.
"As we saw in the May figures, when apartments are excluded, the longer-term trend shows a small increase in homes authorised recently," Statistics New Zealand industry and labour statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said.
"However, while the trend has certainly flattened after a year of decline, it is still not possible to confirm if it has started to rise - at least one more month of positive movement would be necessary," she said.
Unadjusted annual figures for all dwellings showed 995 consents issued in June, down 27.5 per cent from 1373 in June 2010.
Excluding apartments, there were 935 home building consents in June 2011, down 29 per cent from 1316 the same month a year ago.
In the year ended June, building consents, including apartment units, issued over those 12 months were down 16.3 per cent from the June 2010 year, while excluding apartments, home building consents were down 18.6 per cent from the previous year.
- NZ HERALD ONLINE / INTEREST.CO.NZ