Figures for June and July have continued to soften following a spike in total consents in May, caused by backlogs in consent processing capacity during lockdown. Total consents fell 22.4 percent, 20.4 percent and 3.1 percent for Christchurch, Canterbury and New Zealand when comparing June and July 2020. Demand for housing is expected to soften and as such this downward trend in building consents is likely to continue.
July 2020 compared to July 2019 saw decreases in total building consents of 5.9 percent, 14.3 percent and 4.1 percent for Christchurch, Canterbury and New Zealand. These declines were predominantly driven by the non-residential sector. Weak activity in non-residential building consents can be attributed to high vacancies and difficult economic conditions, however, industrial warehousing remains resilient.
Despite the economic headwinds experienced in 2020, total building consents for the year ending July remain positive at 10.4 percent, 7.4 percent and 3.2 percent for Christchurch, Canterbury and New Zealand.