31 Aug 2015

Housing consents rise sharply in July

1:18 pm on 31 August 2015

Consents for new houses and apartments have risen sharply.

The McLennan housing development in Papakura.

The McLennan housing development in Papakura. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Official figures show consents issued rose a seasonally-adjusted 20 percent in July compared with the previous month.

That's the highest monthly rise in more than three years.

Excluding volatile numbers of apartment and retirement units, permits for new houses rose 12 percent.

A senior economist at ANZ Bank, Philip Borkin, says it's an encouraging boost, particularly in the country's largest city, which is suffering a shortage of stock.

"There were gains in most regions, although we estimate Auckland saw a 24 percent gain in the month. Certainly some out-performance there. But when we step back and look at the demographic pressures in the Auckland housing market that is exactly where we need to see the supply response coming through. And in that regard, it was very encouraging."

Mr Borkin remains cautious, pointing out further strong months of consents are needed in Auckland to meet demand.

The Reserve Bank and the Government have taken steps to cool Auckland's overheated housing market, and slow price growth.