Statistics NZ

Auckland Building Consents Statistics – Quick Snapshot

By April 16, 2016 No Comments

A Quick Snap Shot from Statistics NZ on Housing & Population Trends and Auckland Building Consents from the Last Census.

Auckland’s housing has changed markedly over the past two decades as the city reacts to its growing population, with more multi-storey homes, greater density, and fewer unoccupied homes all making it very different to the rest of the country, according to the latest research from Statistics New Zealand.

Housing in Auckland: Trends in housing from 1991 to 2013 uses the latest 2013 Census information, showing that in the seven years between the last two censuses, Auckland’s population grew by 8.5 percent, faster than the number of Auckland Buildings, which increased by 7.6 percent.

Since the 1990s housing in Auckland has changed so much that it’s now distinct from the rest of New Zealand. There are more multi-storey dwellings, lower rates of home-ownership, more renting, and house prices have risen to higher levels than in other parts of New Zealand.”

It is not only young people who have been affected by the fall in home ownership, there have been substantial drops in home ownership for Aucklanders aged in their 30s, 40s, and 50s since 2001.


Auckland Building Consents

Since 2006 Auckland building consents are lower per head of population than in the rest of New Zealand. In 2013, there were 358 Auckland building consents per 100,000 people compared with 423 per 100,000 for New Zealand overall. However, the number of Auckland building consents issued for new dwellings has increased since the low point in 2009 to reach almost 7,000 in the year to March 2014.


One of the fastest growing urban areas

In 1991, the Auckland region urban area had a resident population totalling 878,223.  By 2013, the region’s urban area resident population that totalled 1,308,825. This represents an increase in the urban population of around 430,000 people since 1991, which is the equivalent of adding the populations of Christchurch and Palmerston North to Auckland urban area. Auckland’s urban area experienced a growth rate of just under 50% between 1991 and 2013.


Population growth

Auckland’s population is projected to continue to increase and could reach almost 2 million people by 2031 (sub national population projections, based on the 2006 Census).

  • 1,415,550 people usually live in Auckland Region. This is an increase of 110,589 people, or 8.5 percent, since the 2006 Census.
  • Its population ranks 1st in size out of the 16 regions in New Zealand.
  • Auckland Region has 33.4 percent of New Zealand’s population.


Dwelling and household growth outpaced by population growth

The number of private dwellings and households in New Zealand has historically been increasing at a rate exceeding the population growth rate, but in 2013–15 that trend has reversed. Population growth was an estimated 1.9 percent in the year ended June 2015, compared with private dwelling growth of 1.2 percent. Population growth has exceeded dwelling growth at other times too – in 2002–03 and 2009–10, for example.

The estimate of private dwellings is a measure of New Zealand’s housing stock. The household estimate is a measure of those dwellings which are usually occupied. The difference between the two estimates reflects private dwellings that are not usually occupied such as second homes, holiday homes, and vacant dwellings.

Over a longer period, dwelling growth has outpaced population growth. The number of private dwellings in 2015 is about seven times the number in 1915, while the population is about four times as large. As a result, the average number of people per household has dropped from 5.2 in 1886 to 2.7 in 2013 (See The story of the century – dramatic changes in housing and population). This reflects a number of trends including smaller family sizes and longer life expectancy, resulting in a greater proportion of one-person and two-person households.

The latest estimates indicate a private dwelling stock of 1.8 million, of which about 1.7 million are usually occupied. Given a population of 4.6 million, this is an average of 2.7 people per household.


Median house price

Between 1992 and 2013, the Auckland stratified median house price increased by 147%, from $140,325 (an equivalent dollar value to $222,182 using CPI inflation of 58.3%) in 1992 to $548,750 in 2013.


Renting becoming more common

The majority (64 percent) of households are owner-occupied in 2015, meaning the people living in the household own the dwelling with or without a mortgage. A further 32 percent of households rent their dwelling, while 4 percent have their dwelling provided free.

However, the proportion of households who rent their dwelling has increased from 23 percent in 1991. In contrast, the proportion of households who own their dwelling (with or without a mortgage) has decreased from 74 percent in 1991.


Auckland Rental housing

Between 2006 and 2013, the number of Auckland households who rented their home increased by 18.5%, from 130,227 in 2006 to 154,347 households in 2013.

The percentage of households who rented their home (ie paid rent) in Auckland was 35.4% in 2013. This was an increase from 32.4% in 2006.


Increase in rents not as sharp as house price increases

While overall rents have increased since 1993, they have not increased nearly as sharply as house prices. When the period between 1993 and 2012 is compared, house prices (unadjusted) increased by 258% in Auckland, compared with an increase of 123% for rents (unadjusted).


Auckland Dwelling Density

Dwelling density had increased significantly in Auckland between 2001 and 2013, from 85.5 to 102.0 dwellings per square kilometre. In 2013, the most dense area units (Auckland Central East and Auckland Central West) had over 5,000 dwellings per square kilometre.


Auckland Crowded Households

Levels of crowding have remained persistently high in Auckland. In 2013 almost half of crowded households in New Zealand were in the Auckland region, compared with just over a third in 1991. Over 200,000 people in Auckland, including around 63,000 children, are now living in a crowded household. Crowding was highest among Pacific peoples, with 45.3 percent of Pacific peoples in Auckland living in a crowded household in 2013.


Trends in housing from the Census of Population and Dwellings 1991 to 2013

Source: Statistic New Zealand – Trends in housing from the Census of Population and Dwellings 1991 to 2013 & Housing in Auckland: Trends in housing from the Census of Population and Dwellings 1991 to 2013.

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