New Zealand residential building consents dipped in March after a strong rise in February.

Seasonally adjusted dwelling consents fell 1.8 per cent to 2,651 in March after rising a revised 17 per cent in February, Statistics New Zealand said. New housing permits fell a seasonally adjusted 5.2 per cent to 1,758.

On an actual basis, annual residential permits rose 10 per cent to 30,626 in the year ended March 31. Of that total, housing consents rose 8.7 per cent to 21,434, apartments were up 5.3 per cent to 2,671 and retirement village units eased 0.7 per cent to 1,915.

New Zealand's central bank has long signalled that an overheated housing market is a key risk to financial stability and that much of the solution lies in supply, in particular in the nation's largest city of Auckland. The cost and lack of housing is also shaping up to be a key issue ahead of the September election.

Today's figures show 942 new consents worth $358 million were issued in Auckland in March, compared to 800 permits worth $342m in February. Consents in Canterbury ticked up to 491 worth $192m versus 361 worth $130m a month earlier.

Source: NZHerald