More new residential buildings are being consented to the point where, if such high numbers continue, records set in the 1970s could be broken.
Michael Heslop, construction statistics manager at Stats NZ, said today 11,291 homes were consented nationally in the December quarter, taking the annual figures to 39,420 new homes last year.
"If the rate of new homes consented continues like the December 2020 quarter, we could possibly see the annual figures surpass those from the 1970s," Heslop said.
"If population size is considered however, the figures from the 1970s are still much higher," he said.
The previous quarterly record was in December 1973 when 10,713 new homes were consented.
Consents were issued for 16,656 Auckland residences last year of which 1568 were in Papakura, 1067 in Maungakiekie-Tāmaki, 1162 in Rodney, 1148 for the Hibiscus Coast and bays, 1211 in Upper Harbour, 400 in Devonport-Takapuna, 1537 in Henderson-Massey, and 973 in Franklin.
The number of new homes consented per 1000 residents last year was 7.8.
The record was in the December 1973 year at 13.4. The population of New Zealand in the mid-1970s was around three million, compared with about five million today.
New townhouses, flats and units were the most popular form of dwelling applied for last year.
Consents for those types of residences rose from 8208 in 2019 to 11,603 last year. They now make up nearly a third of all new homes consented.
"Consents indicate an intention to build, and most home construction is completed within a year or two after a consent is granted, though delays due to Covid-19 may have occurred for some projects," Heslop said.
"Typically, high levels of new homes consented are followed by high levels of building activity in the following quarters, which has wide benefits for the economy," he said.
The value of last year's residential consents was $16.5 billion, comprising 68 per cent of all consents.
In the past decade, the value of residential consents grew faster than non-residential. This has not been adjusted for inflation, which may vary for different building types, Stats NZ said today.
The value of consents for multi-unit homes rose by nearly 11 per cent last year and stand-alone houses by 0.5 per cent.
Building consents reflect an intention to build, Stats NZ said.
Some building types may traditionally lead to longer periods of building activity and can often involve multiple stages of consents spanning several years. Information on the actual value of building work put in place for the December 2020 quarter will be released on March 5.