New Zealand residential building consents declined for a third month in February, as the pace of new home building slowed.
Seasonally adjusted dwelling consents, including apartments and retirement units, dropped 6.3 per cent to 1,953 in February from a month earlier, accelerating from the 5.6 decline in January, according to Statistics New Zealand.
Stripping out apartments, housing consents declined for the second consecutive month, down 1.4 per cent to 1,685.
On an unadjusted basis, new apartment permits increased 142 per cent to 160 from the same month the previous year, while clocking an annual gain of 47 per cent to 3,575 approved in the year through to February. Housing consents dropped 6.1 per cent to 1,598 from February a year earlier, for an annual increase of 9.1 per cent to 21,191.
"The trend for new dwellings has more than doubled since March 2011," business indicators manager Neil Kelly said.
"But it is now showing signs of decreasing after generally increasing for almost four years."
Tuesday's figures show that Auckland consents rose 14 per cent to 528 in February from the same month a year earlier. New consents for Canterbury fell 2.5 per cent to 517, as the rebuild of Christchurch shifts its focus to commercial activity.