A record number of new homes were consented to in the year ending in March, according to figures released by Stats NZ.
In the year to March 2021, 41,028 new homes were given the green light, which is made up of 22,771 stand-alone homes and 18,257 multi-unit homes. It beats the previous record of 40,025 homes consented to in the year to February 1974.
More homes were also consented to in March alone (4128) than any other month, surpassing October 1973's figure of 4081. The annual number of homes consented to in Auckland, Waikato, Hawke's Bay, Taranaki, Manawatu-Whanganui and Tasman also hit record highs.
"The record numbers seen in March 2021 suggests that there is a large amount of residential work in the pipeline. The value of consents solely for new stand-alone houses topped $1 billion for the first time in a single month," Stats NZ construction statistics manager Michael Heslop said.
March's annual total is up on the year to February 2021, when 39,725 homes were consented to. It also continues a trend upwards which started in 2011 when consents were at their lowest point since the 1940s. In the year to July 2011, just 13,236 homes were consented to.
"The nature of homes has changed over time, including a shift towards building bigger houses in recent decades," Heslop said. "The increased number of new homes consented in recent years has mostly been due to a rise in consents for higher density homes, such as townhouses. The number of stand-alone houses consented [to] in this period has been relatively flat."
However, while the total number of homes consented to has hit new heights, when accounting for population size, consents remain below the peak in the 1970s.
Just over eight new homes were consented to per 1000 residents in the year ended March 2021. That's up on just three homes in 2011, but below the record of 13.4 seen in the year ended December 1973.