New Zealand residential building consents rose 1.8 percent in November, with demand for retirement village units driving approvals in the month.
Seasonally adjusted consents rose for a second month to 2,377 in November from 2,363 in October, even as approvals for new houses fell 0.3 percent to 1,652, according to Statistics New Zealand.
On an unadjusted basis, dwelling consents climbed 17 percent to 2,831 from November a year earlier, led by retirement village units more than doubling to 321. Residential building permits were 9.1 percent ahead in the year ended November to 26,793.
New Zealand is in a construction boom where authorities are chasing pent up demand for new housing in Auckland, and as the Canterbury rebuild starts to come off its peak. The lack of supply in the country's two-biggest cities spurred rapid price gains, and while those have moderated in Christchurch, Auckland housing is still near record highs.
Today's data show Auckland consents were almost unchanged at 966 in November from a year earlier, while Canterbury consents at 573 were down from 726 in the same month of 2014. Wellington permits more than tripled to 328 in November from a year earlier, while Waikato consents climbed to 284 from 181.
"Annual residential consents issued in Auckland remained practically unchanged - although November 2015 was a big month for consents there, so was November 2014, which now falls out of the annual analysis," Westpac Bank industry economic David Norman said in a note. "Supply remains well below the 11,000 dwellings we estimate are required each year for Auckland to meet its long-term supply shortage."
The value of non-residential building consents rose 25 percent to $531 million in November from the same month a year earlier, for an annual increase of 15 percent to $5.8 billion. The value of all construction rose 22 percent to $1.62 billion in November from a year earlier, and was up 12 percent to $16.5 billion on an annual basis.