New Zealand residential construction consents climbed 11 per cent in February, led by increased construction intentions in Auckland as the country's biggest city tries to house a swelling population.
Seasonally adjusted consents across all dwellings rose to 2,509 in February from 2,264 a month earlier, while permits for new houses rose 4.1 per cent to 1,720, according to Statistics New Zealand.
On an unadjusted basis, new housing consents were up 27 per cent to 1,712 in February from the same month a year earlier, while apartment consents advanced 45 per cent to 204, retirement village units more than doubled to 122 and townhouses, flats and units jumped 61 per cent to 341. On an annual basis, new housing consents were up 8.6 per cent to 19,546, with all dwellings gaining 12 per cent to 27,745.
Auckland led the increase in housing permits, rising 49 per cent to 787 in February from a year earlier. That took the annual number of new consents to 9,534, accelerating from the 9,275 reported in the year to January though still below the 13,000 the city is estimated to need to match population growth.
The data showed a drop in non-residential building consents, with the value down 21 per cent to $372 million in February from a year earlier. On an annual basis, non-residential building permits increased 9.8 per cent to $5.78 billion, led by a 60 per cent increase in education buildings to $1.14 billion. Offices, administration and public transport accounted for the biggest annual value of new permits at $1.16 billion, down 10 per cent from a year earlier.
The value of all buildings increased 17 per cent to $1.45 billion in the month from February 2015, for an annual gain of 13 per cent to $16.72 billion.