New Zealand building consents fell 1.5 per cent in October, snapping four monthly gains, with Canterbury and apartments underpinning new permits and issuance up markedly on the previous year.
The number of new dwellings consented fell to a seasonally adjusted 1,519 in October from 1,543 a month earlier, according to Statistics New Zealand. Stripping out apartment issuance, which tends to vary from month to month, new permits fell 2 per cent to 1,315.
However, today's figures show new dwelling consents climbed 32 per cent from October 2011, with an 89 per cent spike in the number of new apartment permits issued. The value of residential consents rose 29 per cent to $593 million in October from the same month a year earlier.
Building intentions have been on the up in recent months as the Canterbury rebuild and bubbling Auckland property market foster demand for new residential housing, even as politicians make noises about improving home affordability.
Canterbury residential building consents rose 58 per cent in the month from a year earlier, with $25 million of future work recorded as earthquake related. A further $26 million earmarked for commercial construction work was also quake-related.
Since the September 2010 quake, some 3,200 consents have been identified, with a total value of $689 million, Statistics NZ said.
The value of non-residential building consents jumped 42 per cent to $392 million from October 2011, led by consents for storage buildings, office and administration buildings and hotels and boarding houses.
The value of commercial consents rose an annual 5.2 per cent to $3.89 billion, while residential consents jumped 24 per cent to $6 billion.