Statistics New Zealand figures show 1381 new homes and apartment consents were issued for December 2012, a 23% increase on December 2011. The total new residential consents for 2012 were 16,929 compared to 13,662 in 2012, reflecting a 24% increase.
RMBF chief executive Warwick Quinn has been predicting a “tale of two cities” for some time, and is not surprised by the result.
The outcome for the year is in line with expectations, and a continuation of this trend is expected for most of 2013.
Mr Quinn says of the 16,929 new residential consents issued, the Auckland and Canterbury regions made up 50%, with Auckland also bucking the usual December drop off, partly due to it being a three-week month last year.
He expects this market share to be greater in 2013 as the rebuild in Canterbury gains momentum and Auckland responds to its housing shortfall.
Property values rising
Mr Quinn says the housing pressures in Auckland and Canterbury are also driving up property values.These are the only regions in New Zealand that have rising prices, which generates greater levels of building activity to meet a shortfall in supply.
The rest of New Zealand has flat property prices and, thus, similar levels of building activity.
Building activity still quite low
Mr Quinn says while the increased level of work is welcomed, overall building activity is still quite low and coming off record low levels.
“New Zealand should be building in the order of 20,000 to 25,000 new homes per annum to maintain its housing stock and population growth, and we have been well below those levels for the past five years,” he says.
“While we will see more new residential consents issued again in 2013, it is not on the back of a strong economy, but in response to housing problems in our two biggest cities.”