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Auckland housing demand masks southern slump

Increasing demand for houses in Auckland isn't making up for the dwindling number of building consents approved.

Increasing demand for houses in Auckland isn't making up for the dwindling number of building consents approved.

Last November saw some of the lowest levels in consent in recent years largely due to the South Island’s decline in approvals.

Housing numbers rose in Auckland, with increasing demand for new housing. The number of house sales increased by 17 percent in November, with buyers shrugging off discomfort seen in 2010 and 2011.

ASB Bank economist Jane Turner said an increase in demand for housing in Auckland would benefit other building sectors.

“We expect underlying demand for housing construction to pick up, reflecting the current tightness in the housing market (particularly in Auckland).”

There was a $74 million decrease in consent values for building work, between 2010 and 2011.

Housing approval numbers halved in Canterbury, Wellington and Otago. The fall was mostly due to apartments, which spiked in November 2010 and fell to a more typical level in 2011.

Overall the number of houses approved for 2011 has dropped 12 percent to 1,384 compared to 2011.

The largest decrease was seen in the number of building consents granted for retirement units, which fell from 226 to 109 in 2011.