New Zealand Building Permits Sink 6.5% In April

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The total number of building consents issued in New Zealand dropped a seasonally adjusted 6.5 percent on month in April, Statistics New Zealand said on Tuesday – coming in at 2,168 consents.

That follows the downwardly revised 22.0 percent fall in April (originally -21.3 percent).

In the year ended April 2020, the actual number of new dwellings consented was 37,180, up 8.1 percent from the April 2019 year.

The annual value of non-residential building work consented was NZ$6.6 billion, down 13 percent from the April 2019 year.

In April, 2,168 new dwellings were consented, comprising: 1,358 stand-alone houses; 590 townhouses, flats, and units; 136 apartments; and 84 retirement village units.

The seasonally adjusted number of new stand-alone houses consented fell 5.6 percent, after falling 18 percent in March.

By region, the numbers of new dwellings consented in April were: 894 in Auckland – down 14 percent on year; 253 in Waikato – up 9.1 percent; 101 in Wellington – down 56 percent; 307 in rest of North Island – down 32 percent; 397 in Canterbury – down 3.4 percent; and 216 in rest of South Island – down 0.1 percent.

In the year ended April 2020, non-residential building consents totaled NZ$6.6 billion, down 13 percent from a year earlier.

In the April 2020 year, the non-residential building types with the highest values were: shops, restaurants, and bars – NZ$921 million (down 20 percent); education buildings – NZ$899 million (down 21 percent); and offices, administration, and public transport buildings – NZ$895 million (down 5.6 percent).

Also on Tuesday, the stats bureau said that New Zealand’s terms of trade shed a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2020.

That missed expectations for an increase of 1.3 percent following the 2.6 percent gain in the three months prior.

Export prices for goods fell 0.2 percent and import prices rose 0.5 percent, while export volumes for goods rose 1.8 percent and import volumes fell 3.9 percent.

Export values for goods rose 3.6 percent and import values fell 1.9 percent and the services terms of trade advanced 3.6 percent. Services export prices rose 1.3 percent, while import prices fell 2.2 percent.

Among exports, dairy prices rose 0.8 percent, while dairy volumes fell 1.0 percent, and values rose 4.1 percent. Meat prices fell 7.5 percent, while meat volumes fell 1.6 percent, and values fell 4.9 percent.

Among imports, petroleum and petroleum product prices rose 1.7 percent. Petroleum and petroleum product volumes rose 11 percent, and values rose 13 percent.

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