Historical high numbers of annual building consents issued

  • In the year ended May 2021, the actual number of new dwellings consented was 43,466.
  • The annual value of non-residential building work consented was $7.9 billion, up 21 percent from the May 2020 year.
  • The number of new townhouses, flats and units consented in May 2021 is 1,380.

Government support for and investment in the construction sector is once again paying off with the highest annual number of residential building consents on record, says Minister for Building and Construction Poto Williams.

“We are consenting more homes than ever before. In March we reached an all-time high, and May results show we’re keeping this up, particularly when it comes to townhouses, flats and units,” Poto Williams said.

“These figures show a strong pipeline for the residential construction industry to deliver the homes New Zealanders need at levels we’ve never seen before.”

Estimates from Statistics New Zealand released today show the number of new homes consented in the year ended May 2021 is at an all-time high of 43,466.

This is an increase of 17 per cent from the May 2020 year. 1,380 townhouses, flats and units were consented in May 2021 alone, the highest number since records began in 1990.

“The construction sector is essential to our economic recovery and these figures prove how resilient the sector has been in weathering the initial impacts of COVID-19.

“Increases in higher-density housing are contributing to the great results we’re seeing.

“Higher-density and modular offsite manufacturing methods are key to helping New Zealand with the healthy, modern and affordable homes we need.

“New building laws announced last month will go even further to support housing supply and affordability and enable the use of new, innovative and efficient building methods such as offsite manufacturing.”

The Building Amendment Act now includes the provision of a new certification scheme for modular component manufacturers, which will streamline the building consenting process for new and innovative building techniques that have the potential to reduce building costs while delivering high quality, affordable homes. Meanwhile the Construction Sector Accord, a partnership between industry and government, supports greater pipeline certainty so participants across the sector can have confidence to invest for future skills and technology.

“The Accord recognises the need to lift the performance of the construction sector to help us deliver on the projects New Zealand needs.

“The construction industry is doing a fantastic job of stepping up to the challenge of meeting demand, and our ongoing work with the Accord will help ensure the sector remains resilient and that we keep building on our capacity and capability,” Poto Williams said.