New Zealand building consents fell last month as a drop-off in Canterbury construction intentions offset growth in other regions, although Auckland continued to lag behind the estimated level needed to match growth in housing demand.

Seasonally adjusted consents across all dwellings dropped 8.2 per cent to 2,245 in January, while housing consents sank 5.6 per cent to 1,646, its steepest decline since August 2014, according to Statistics New Zealand. On an unadjusted basis, new housing consents were 13 per cent higher than a year earlier…