New Zealand residential construction has reached a 45-year high, running at a pace not seen since 1974.

Statistics NZ said a record number of consents were issued for 37,010 new houses in the year to November 2019, "the highest in a year since the mid-1970s. There were 37,919 new homes consented in the year ended September 1974."

The number of new homes consented has been generally increasing since late 2011, coming off lows in 2009 and 2011 when fewer than 14,000 new homes were consented annually, StatsNZ said.

"Nationally, 13 per cent more new homes were consented in the November 2019 year compared with a year ago, reaching 14,866 in Auckland, 4176 in Waikato, and 5310 in Canterbury," a statement said.


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Consents issued in Canterbury rose 14 per cent. Although this level was below the 2014 peak, it was still higher than the level before earthquake rebuild activities, a statement said.

Milldale north of Auckland, an entirely new suburb being created. Photo / Greg Bowker
Milldale north of Auckland, an entirely new suburb being created. Photo / Greg Bowker

The Wellington region consented 3036 new homes in the latest year, the highest annual number since over 4000 new homes were consented in the mid-1970s.

Consents were issued in November for 3203 new dwellings of which 1980 were stand-alone houses, 722 were townhouses, flats and units, 291 were apartments and 211 were retirement village units.

The value of non-residential building consents for the November 2019 year was $7.4 billion, up 4.9 per cent from the November 2018 year. That $7.4b included $1b in education buildings, $1b in shops, restaurants and bars and $981m in offices, administration and public transport buildings.

To cope with the rise in house construction levels, Fletcher Building late last year opened a house-building factory in Auckland. That business plans to build more than 1000 new homes annually.