New Zealand Residential Building Consents at 7-year High

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New Zealand residential building consents rose to a seven-year high in November, led by Auckland and Canterbury.

The number of new permits issued rose 6.7 per cent to 2,420 in November from the year earlier month, the highest number since August 2007, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Auckland consents increased 24 per cent to 967, while Canterbury permits jumped 32 per cent to 726, the agency said.

The rebuilding of earthquake-damaged Christchurch and a shortage of housing in Auckland is underpinning the rise in building permits, with the two regions accounting for 70 per cent of the national total.

Westpac economists say the figures are consistent with their expectation that construction activity will increase strongly over the coming year.

They showed 474 of the new dwelling consents were for apartments, including 95 retirement village units.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, new dwelling consents increased 10 per cent from the previous month, following a 9.8 per cent increase in October and a 12 per cent decrease in September, when the general election was held.

Excluding apartments, which can be volatile, seasonally adjusted consents rose 2.1 per cent, following a 13 per cent increase in October and an 11 per cent drop in September.

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