Only 16 apartments were given planning consent across the whole of New Zealand in March 2013
The stark figures – a three-year low – were revealed in figures from official data source Statistics New Zealand.
The dearth of apartment approvals outweighted a surge in housing consents, leaving the overall number of consented homes at 1,475 in March 2013. This was down 5.4 per cent from the same month the previous year.
The fall comes despite record highs in several districts of Canterbury, which is rebuilding from the tragic 2011 earthquake and powerful aftershocks since.
‘Across the Canterbury region, the number of new houses consented reached a six-year high,’ said Statistics New Zealand industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno.
‘Both Waimakariri and Selwyn districts each broke records with their highest monthly totals since the series began in April 1990.’
The seasonally adjusted national number of new houses, including apartments, fell 9.1 per cent from February to March.
Non-residential building consents were valued at $365 million (£200m) in March – up a fifth year-on-year. The rise was led by work on prisons in the Auckland region.