Residential construction sank further into the mire in October, with the number of new dwelling units authorised the lowest in 16 years.
The 1173 building consents issued in October for new homes, including apartments, was the lowest monthly total since January 1992, Statistics New Zealand said.
October's total was down 22 per cent on a year earlier when apartments were included, and down 24 per cent with apartments excluded.
Also in October, the seasonally adjusted number of authorised new housing units, excluding apartments, fell 7.1 per cent compared with September.
When apartments are included, the total was down 22 per cent because of the low number of apartments in October.
The 50 apartment units authorised in October was the lowest monthly total since April 2000, apart from this March when there were also 50 apartment units authorised, Statistics New Zealand said.
Building consents issued in October were valued at $439 million, down 32 per cent on October last year.
For the year ended October, the value of consents issued for residential buildings fell $1.19 billion, or 15 per cent, to $6.58 billion, compared to the October 2007 year.
The value for non-residential buildings dropped 14 per cent in October, compared with a year earlier, to $348 million.
For the year ended October, the value of non-residential building consents was up 7.2 per cent from the previous year to $4.48 billion.
The value of consents issued for all buildings in October was $788 million, down 25 per cent on October last year.
For the October year, the value of consents issued for all buildings was $11.06 billion, down 7.5 per cent from the previous year.