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We’re building bigger 40 years on

Fewer homes are being built now than in the 1970s, but they are much bigger, Statistics New Zealand said today.

“The number of homes we’re building is lower than in the mid-1970s, but we’re building more in terms of total floor area,” business indicators senior manager Neil Kelly said. “This is because houses are now so much bigger than they used to be.”

Consented homes nowadays are over 60 percent bigger than they were in the 1970s.

For comparison, in the year ended August 1974:

  • 38,000 new homes were consented
  • the average floor area was 110 square metres
  • the total floor area consented was 4.2 million square metres.

In the year ended August 2004:

  • 33,000 new homes were consented
  • the average floor area was 181 square metres
  • the total floor area consented was 5.9 million square metres.

In the year ended August 2016:

  • 30,000 new homes were consented
  • the average floor area was 182 square metres
  • the total floor area consented was 5.4 million square metres.

Floor area includes shared spaces and basement carparks in apartment buildings.

Graph, New dwellings consented, number and total floor area, year ended August 1966 to 2016.

Cost to build is highest in Otago

Over the year to August 2016, the average expected cost to build a home was $346,000, at $1,906 a square metre. This information comes from building consents issued. However, in practice, the actual cost is usually at least 10 percent higher.

Regionally, the highest average costs were in Otago ($396,000) and Auckland ($390,000). The high costs in Otago were driven by homes in Queenstown-Lakes district, where the average cost was $445,000. Auckland had a higher cost per square metre than Otago, but a smaller average dwelling size.

The lowest average costs were in West Coast ($274,000) and Wellington ($284,000). Wellington’s low average was due to a higher proportion of apartments and retirement village units being consented in the region.

Within Auckland, the lowest average cost was in Manurewa-Papakura ward ($266,000), while the highest was in Waitemata and Gulf ward ($532,000).

In the North Island, the district with the lowest average cost for building a home was Kawerau ($200,000). In the South Island, it was Grey district ($252,000).

These values include GST but exclude fees and land prices. They are estimates only, as supplied on the building consent application.

See the downloadable Excel tables for statistics for all regions and territorial authorities.

Ends

For media enquiries contact: Neil Kelly, Christchurch 03 964 8957, info@stats.govt.nz
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 5 October 2016

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