Building consents granted highest since 1974

The number of building consents issued throughout the country hit a near 45 year high last month, with Auckland and Waikato hitting record levels.

Official numbers show 35,472 new dwellings were consented in the year ended July, the highest since the end of 1974.

The strongest growth was for apartments, town houses, and retirement village units.

The number of consents issued for the month of July fell a seasonally adjusted 1.3 percent, although it was up 8 percent on the previous year.

Westpac senior economist Satish Ranchhod said the construction sector looked to have a solid pipeline of work for the next year or more.

"Construction is expected to remain elevated for some time in order to address existing housing shortfalls and keep up with population growth."

"However, we don't expect to see the same sort of large increases in nationwide construction-related spending and employment that we did in recent years," he said.

Auckland had a record 14,236 consents issued in the past year and Waikato 4,102.

The highest number of consents issued in a year was 40,025 in the year ended February 1974.

However, that was when New Zealand's population was just touching 3 million, equating to one consent for a new house for every 75 people, compared to the latest one consent for every 138 people.

This article was originally published on RNZ and re-published with permission.

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