New Zealand’s appetite for building new homes has slowed, data for the first month the Reserve Bank’s restrictions on low deposit mortgage lending kicked in shows.
New dwelling consents, including apartments, fell 0.6 per cent to a seasonally adjusted 1,751 in October, from 1,762 a month earlier, according to Statistics New Zealand figures released on Friday.
Stripping out apartments, which can cause monthly volatility, consents fell 2.3 per cent to 1,588. That’s the biggest monthly decline since July last year.
Unadjusted, residential building permits excluding apartments were up 20 per cent to 1,758 in October from the same month a year earlier, and were up 25 per cent on an annual basis to 18,323.
Consents to build apartments were down 21 per cent to 133 in October from a year earlier, and fell 1.2 per cent annually to 1,714.
The building intentions figures suggest the Reserve Bank’s restrictions on mortgage lending with less than 20 per cent deposit are already affecting housing supply, as feared by the Registered Master Builders Federation.
The central bank has been concerned about rapid house price rises in Auckland and Christchurch, where a lack of supply has seen growing numbers of bidders drive up sale prices.