Building consent figures dropped last month – but one economist says that shouldn’t be seen as a sign of residential construction slowing.
Dwelling consents dropped 9.1% on a seasonally-adjusted basis in March, Statistics New Zealand said.
Excluding the volatile apartment consent figures, consents were down 3.1%. Approval was issued for only 16 new apartments in March, the lowest figure since early 2012. None were in Auckand.
But Canterbury reported another record month, with 444 consents issued for homes – the highest number in six years.
Compared to March 2012, consents fell by 118 in Auckland and 45 in Wellington.
Westpac economist Michael Gordon said the latest statistics did not alter the bank’s view that consent numbers would continue to rise.
“The sharp fall in March consents was the result of two factors: a fall in the volatile apartments component to rock-bottom levels, and one less working day than usual for March due to the timing of the Easter holidays. Both of these factors point to a sharp rebound in the April figures.”