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 December 2019, there were 4,277 new dwelling consents issued across Greater Christchurch. For Christchurch in the same period there were 2,519 consents (59%), 1,103 (26%) in Selwyn and 655 (15%) in Waimakariri.
  • The number of households across Greater Christchurch increased by 4,338 in the year to June 2018. For Christchurch that was an increase of 2,800 households (65%), with 1,000 in Selwyn (23%) and 538 in Waimakariri (12%).

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 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.

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 Stats NZ.

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 the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, with monthly figures (latest to December 2019).

The household change indicator is updated annually for the June year (latest to June 2018).

Data Download

Download the tables here [XLSX, 22 KB]

Page Updated

June 2020

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