NZ data says new homes are taking longer than in 2021

by | May 7, 2024

New homes consented up until the June 2022 quarter have taken an average of 16 months to reach final inspection, an increase from 14 months in the June 2021 quarter. A further two months are then required to receive a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC), according to the latest information from Stats NZ.

Additionally, the data shows homes from June 2022 quarter take around five months to reach their first inspection.

“This increase in building timeframes coincided with a period of building material shortages and high demand for new homes,” said Construction and Property Statistics Manager, Michael Heslop.

The data measures the time it takes between a home receiving a building consent and a CCC. It is the most recently available data to Stats NZ, which covers all new dwellings consented and uses information from 25 Building Consent Authorities, covering around 65 per cent of all new dwellings consented and completed.

“This experimental dataset provides an estimate of the number of new homes finished each quarter, based on data from a selection of councils and modelling for those councils whose data is not currently collected,” said Mr Heslop.

Data on the time between consent and CCC for new stand-alone houses from the March 2023 quarter shows the median length of time to reach a first inspection was around five months – an increase compared to the March 2022 quarter, which took around three months to reach first inspection. Of all new homes consented in the March 2023 quarter, 33.6 per cent had reached CCC stage by the time of publication.

For multi-unit homes, the most up-to-date data is from the June 2022 quarter. This data indicates that the median time it takes to issue a CCC is just over 18 months. Additionally, only 56.8 per cent of homes consented in that quarter had reached the CCC stage by April 2024.

Early indications for consents issued in the March 2023 quarter for all new dwellings show a reduction in CCC time, with the lower quartile time being 10 months. The lower quartile is the time it takes for only one quarter of building consents to reach this milestone. This is useful as an early indicator of potential trends in the median, as well as a measure of variation in timeframes.

Although the most up-to-date data available is from June 2022, there is more recent information about Completed Building Consents (CCCs). It is estimated that in the June 2022 quarter, 11,831 newly built dwellings received CCCs, which is an increase of 17 per cent compared to the December 2022 quarter. In the year ending December 2023, approximately 43,160 dwellings received CCCs, representing a 20 per cent increase compared to the previous year.

Furthermore, in the September 2023 quarter, the number of newly built dwellings that received a CCC surpassed the 40,000 mark and reached 41,421.

Regarding whether Stats NZ could commit to another Experimental Building Indicators report, Mr Heslop said, “It takes time to establish relationships with data suppliers and there is a multitude of stakeholders involved in the provision of this data. So, at this stage, we are unable to commit to further data updates.”

He added that the timing of the publication depends on its workload with other releases.

“The timing of updates to the experimental building indicators dataset is an operational decision. Stats NZ had produced this dataset once before in 2022, but official statistics such as ‘Building consents issued’ and ‘Value of building work put in place’ are our priorities. Another factor that impacts the timing is data supply.”