Only 7200 new residences were built in Auckland last year, barely half the number needed and only slightly up on the last two years, an expert says.

Leonie Freeman, a housing strategist, Goodman Property Trust director and former Housing NZ Corporation development general manager, said the situation is "quite drastic."

Freeman requested Auckland Council data on new residences completed based on code compliance certificates issued solely by the council and she said she discovered building numbers were falling far short of requirements.

"The numbers being completed are far less than those consented. Statistics from Auckland Council show that last year 7200 houses were built and 6520 and 5550 were completed for year end 2015 and 2014 respectively," she said. Yet Auckland needed about 14,000 new residences annually, made up of houses, apartments, townhouses and terraced dwellings.

"Despite all the focus on housing in the last nine years, we are barely completing half the number we need," she complained.

Freeman said all the public attention went to Statistics NZ's building consents while no one had thought to ascertain the exact residential numbers completed in Auckland.

"Auckland Council's Unitary Plan published in 2015 assumes that Auckland needs to build an additional 420,000 more homes by 2045.

"That equates to 14,000 each year for the 30-year period. It's more than a little sobering to recognise that this requires a building rate far greater than what we've actually managed over the past quarter century," she said.

Statistics NZ said 30,626 residential consents were granted in the year to March, 2017. In Auckland, 10,199 consents were issued in the year to March 2017, up on last year's 9566 consents. Not all consents result in a new residence. Numbers finally built are below consents issued.

Source: NZHerald