New dwelling consents and household growth

Why is this important?

Dwelling consents and household growth tell us about the rate of residential building activity and is an indicator of economic activity.

Key points

  • In the year to September 2018, there were 4,234 new dwelling consents issued across Greater Christchurch (the three territorial authorities combined -Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri).
  • In Christchurch City for the same period, there were 2,487 consents (59%), 1,186 (28%) in Selwyn, and 566 (13%) in Waimakariri.
  • The number of households across Greater Christchurch increased by 4,246 in the year to June 2017 (2018 data not yet available).
  • For Christchurch City that was an increase of 2,600 households (61%), with 1,069 in Selwyn (25%) and 577 in Waimakariri (14%).

Note this is an interactive chart and you can click on the legend items to change what is shown on the graph.


The loss of 5,600 households in 2011 from Christchurch City was due to the Canterbury earthquakes. Conversely, both Selwyn (655) and Waimakariri (692) experienced an increase in household numbers during the period.

In more recent years the data would suggest that the number of new dwelling consents being issued is much more closely matched to the annual increase in the number of households across the three territorial authorities.

Data notes

This indicator approximates the demand for, and supply of, new dwellings. It measures changes in demand and how responsive supply is.

The number of new dwelling building consents is lagged by six months (presented as a 12-month rolling average), to account for the time taken from consenting to completion. It is not adjusted for non-completions, or for demolitions. It is used as a proxy for supply.

The most recent resident population, divided by the local average housing size, is used as a proxy for demand. Both sets of data are sourced from Statistics New Zealand.

Data information and downloads

Data Source

Urban development capacity dashboard, MBIE

Data Access

Dashboard is available online(external link), as are the data tables(external link) for download

Date Updated

The Dwelling Consent dataset is updated quarterly by MBIE, with monthly figures (latest to September 2018).

The household change indicator is updated annually for the June year (latest to June 2017).

Data Download

Download the tables here [XLS, 21 KB]

Page Updated

May 2019

Data breakdowns available

Geographic Area

The three Territorial Authorities combined and separate - Christchurch City Council, Waimakariri District Council, Selwyn District Council


Territorial Authority level - Christchurch City Council, Waimakariri District Council, Selwyn District Council