The council’s proposed changes to the Unitary Plan, that are meant to give effect to the governments National Policy Statement on Urban Development and Medium Density Residential Standards, are currently out for formal submissions. We’ll talk about that more in a separate post shortly but last week Stats NZ released the building consent data for July so I thought it was a good time to review what’s been happening in that space in recent months.
First up, consents have remained surprisingly high despite economic concerns around inflation and news of house prices starting to drop – though they are still way too high. Those high consent numbers mean we’re still seeing new records set for the total number of consents with 21,743 issued over the 12 months to the end of July.
You can see in the graph above, but more clearly if we unstack it, that the big driver of consents continues to be ‘multi-unit homes’ like townhouses, the volume of which continue to soar. At the same time there’s been a notable decline in recent months of single house consents. They’re still high but are coming down and now represent just 25% of all consents.
Breaking these numbers down by local board revels some more interesting results. Over the past few years the Henderson Massey local board area as being one of the strongest performers in consent numbers, being usually number one or close to the number one. This is notable because the west is where the Unitary Plan has the most permissive zoning with large amounts of apartments and 3-storey townhouses being allowed.
But over the last year or so we’ve seen the area pull away. Howick and Papakura have also been high up on the list but a relative newcomer is Maungakiekie-Tamaki with a lot of apartments – most of which I assume are Kiwi Property’s planned build to rent apartment buildings at Sylvia Park.
Consents in much of the rest of the country remain high too. For example, Canterbury remains close to it’s peak levels and has the highest number of consents per 1000 residents at 13.2, slightly ahead of Auckland at 12.7. Wellington is also setting new records for the total number of homes consented with 3,927 over the last year which equates to 7.2 per 1000 residents.
One thing that we can see is that the increase of ‘multi-unit homes’ both in Auckland and elsewhere is having an impact on the average size of homes we’re building. At one point, when multi-unit homes were not really being build, the average size of homes peaked at an average of 221m² but as of July this was down to 139m².
Coming back to Auckland, the council publishes a wide range of consent though it is only till he end of June so a month earlier. It shows that while those only around 25% of new consented homes are within 1500m of the rapid transit network.
However, around 82% of all consents are within the old 2010 Metropolitan Urban Limit – that has been superseded by the much larger Rural Urban Boundary.
What is perhaps the most concerning aspect of the council numbers is where the number of code of compliance certificates has been dropping since the middle of last year.
What do you make of the numbers?