Home consents bounce back post lockdown

by Roxanne Libatique03 Jul 2020

The property sector is back to business as the number of home consents finally bounces back post lockdown, according to Statistics New Zealand's latest report.

The latest data by Stats NZ revealed that the number of new homes consented in May 2020 increased by 64% from April, the most significant monthly change since February 1972. Specifically, the number of new homes consented last month reached 3,554 compared to only 2,168 in April.

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Accounting for seasonality, the increase from April to May reached 36%, following a fall of 9.9% in April 2020.

“Although monthly home consent numbers can be influenced by the timing of large multi-dwelling projects, both the actual and seasonally adjusted numbers in May show a strong bounce back from a weak April month,” said Dave Adair, the acting construction indicators manager at Stats NZ.

Consents for 1,926 new stand-alone homes have partly driven the sky-high number of new home consents post lockdown, which increased by 42% from April and over 16% when accounting for seasonality.

Another driving factor for the recent increase is the record 959 new townhouses, units, and flats consented since the series started in April 1990.

Read more: Report reveals signs of recovery in May

Meanwhile, the number of building consents is still uncertain due to various underlying factors, including the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the sector and the implications that councils might have faced during the lockdown in April.

“This month's statistics can also include consents submitted several weeks or months before, so the true effects of COVID-19 may only be seen several months down the line,” Adair said.

Stats NZ's soon-to-be-released “Value for Building Work Put in Place” report will reveal a clearer picture of the impacts of COVID-19 on the construction sector.

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