A year ago, I wrote that “Australia is currently in the middle of a major apartment boom“. Well, the boom is still going – in fact, it’s risen to even higher levels. On a ‘moving annual total’ basis, Australia has gone from approving 86,000 attached units a year to 113,000, an all-time record.* That’s helped push total dwelling approvals to 229,000, also an all-time record.


There are concerns in some quarters that there might be a looming oversupply of apartments in some areas, as noted by the Reserve Bank of Australia. I don’t know enough about the Aussie market to comment, but it’s certainly a reshaping of the market given the amount that’s being built. Speaking of reshaping, Patrick’s post the other day showed how the apartments will change the Melbourne CBD skyline (well, showed how one part will change, I’m not sure if it’s as drastic for other areas).

Back in New Zealand, building consents continue to rise, but not to the same extent. My view is that there’s a lot more growth to come, especially for attached dwellings,** and especially in Auckland. Keep an eye out for this over the next few months.


Lastly for today, here’s an update on the percentage of new dwellings which are attached, for both Australia (which has reached an all-time high, of 49.5%) and New Zealand.


As per last year, I’ll follow up soon with a post looking at the trends in different cities. But I think the trends above for Australia are pretty impressive in their own right.

*Technically, the Australian approvals are for “dwellings excluding houses”. That covers apartments, terraces and so on.

** Statistics New Zealand have changed their categories since last year. I’ve combined the categories for “apartments”, “townhouses, flats, units, and other dwellings”, and “retirement village units”. Note that some of the retirement villages will actually be detached homes, but they’re not split out in the data.

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  1. I was reading in Sydney in particular they are so concerned about the Tsunami of supply they link it will fuel large price decreases across the housing market.

    Lets hope we get something similar happening in Auckland.

      1. It is unlikely we will ever see oversupply in Auckland. A lot of the places we are allowing apartments aren’t highly proximate to jobs (Glen Innes, New Lynn, Kelston, Papatoetoe) and some are even apartments planned to be unable to access good transportation (Te Atatu Peninsula, Botany, Royal Oak). Also Auckland has the restrictive MUL enforcing geographic constraints much more than in an Australian city and causing relatively higher cost land. Everything else being equal building apartments in Auckland means higher costs for lower profits.

  2. My 2c worth: it’s not actually an oversupply of apartments- the problem is more that you can get an oversupply of money to buy. That’s the current problem – too much cheap money in crude terms – excessive liquidity in the market in other speak. If the banks dry up supply again, suddenly no one can buy.

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