Jan. 9 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand building consents fell 5.4 percent in November as the typically volatile demand to build new apartments shrank to its lowest level since April 2011.
The number of new dwellings consented fell to a seasonally adjusted 1,423 in November from 1,505 a month earlier, according to Statistics New Zealand. Stripping out permits to build new apartments, consents rose 4.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted 1,382.
There were just 39 consents issued for new apartments in November, all retirement village units, and 64 percent lower than a year earlier. Still, on an annual basis, apartment consents are up 52 percent to 1,665.
The South Island drove new dwellings growth in the month, with Canterbury consents up 71 percent to 413 from November 2011, and Otago up 65 percent to 124 consents issued. Auckland continued to dominate the total number of consents at 432.
Earthquake-related Canterbury consents totalled $59 million in November, and since the Sept. 4, 2010 temblor there have been almost 3,400 consents worth $749 million issued.
The value of non-residential building consents increased 1.3 percent to $420 million in November from the same month a year earlier, while the value of all building consents climbed 15 percent to $1.05 billion in the month.
The value of commercial consents was up 7.2 percent to $3.9 billion on an annual basis, while all building construction permits climbed 18 percent to $10.03 billion in the year ended Nov. 30.