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Here is an interesting article about the changing nature of residential housing republished from our professional body, the NZIQS.

With the obvious housing shortage, especially in Auckland, coupled with rising demand for retirement units and affordable housing (smaller dwellings), a new unitary plan in Auckland that encourages infill housing and other densification, it is not surprising that apartments and townhouses have exploded in recent years. Where will they head to next?

Let’s start with some facts

1100A3A, Floor area in m2(000) is the aggregate for 1100A1A All dwellings in Number, we have derived an average GFA per dwelling using this data. In 2010 this number hit its all time high of 200m2 per dwelling, the Mount Everest of this data set.The Green and Yellow is Stats NZ published data. The rest is calculated or derived from the Stats NZ data.

With some analysis I have arrived at the constituent average GFA per residential building type;
1110A1A Houses 227.m2 ave;
1121A1A Apartments 75.m2 ave;
1122A1A Retirement village units 55.m2 ave;
1129A1A Townhouses, flats, and units 65.m2 ave.

These average GFA m2 rates multiplied out by the varying numbers of residential building types from 2011 through to 2019, agrees with Stats NZ published “All Dwellings GFA” within 0.5 to 1% overall.

Now let’s have some fun
To build out a dwelling deficit, we need to always build more than future growth in demand for dwellings. Estimated resident population, as at 31 December 2018 = 4,929,700 annual change of +85,300. [Stats NZ]. We know from past research the national average occupancy is 2.5 people per occupied dwelling. We should have built (85,300 div 2.5 =) 34,120 dwellings in 2019. To Feb 2019 we consented 34,262. This means we have finally built our industry capacity up to meet current demand. We were building half that number 6 years ago. We need to build out a deficit of 180,000 dwellings (my previous research calc), but I can’t see that happening. No-one ever completely solves a problem.

If we can repeat the increase in dwelling supply of the last 7 years, the current 34,000 pa will become 49,000 pa. We may reduce the housing deficit by circa 60,000 over the next 7 years. And here is how this might play out, led by Apartments and Townhouses…


Rising compact dwelling consent numbers will see the avg GFA drop to 150m2/dwelling.

I have mixed facts with possibility to show the trajectory of our current engagement in developing solutions to the dwelling shortage. Real world actions may be another matter? So do not bet your house on it!

Source: Editor NZIQS E Bulletin: 5th June 2019

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