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Auckland Council The Auckland Plan

Te raukaha o Tāmaki Makaurau ki te tipu ake

Auckland’s capacity for growth

Recent growth patterns

Auckland's population has grown by 180,700 since the first Auckland Plan was adopted in 2012.

The rate of growth has remained high in recent years, and increased by 43,000 in 2016/2017.

In the past five years consents for new dwellings have increased from 5500 (2012/2013) to over 12,000 (2017/2018) per annum. If consents continue at this level, Auckland will be on track to consent around 100,000 new homes between 2012 and 2022.

Auckland is also delivering more attached housing than in previous years. This offers people greater housing choice. The proportion of attached dwellings has increased from 16 per cent of all dwellings consented in 2012/2013 to 46 per cent in 2017/2018.

​Furthermore, 80 per cent of all new dwellings consented in the last five years were located within the existing urban area. For further information see Development Strategy progress.

Monitoring is being improved to track both dwelling consents and completions to enable better understanding of delivery against targets.

Number of consented dwellings in Auckland (2012-2019)

​Reporting year ​Number of consented dwellings
​Year 1 (2012/2013) ​5501
​Year 2 (2013/2014) ​7078
​Year 3 (2014/2015) ​8398
​Year 4 (2015/2016) ​9381
​Year 5 (2016/2017) ​10,121
​Year 6 (2017/2018) ​12,369
Year 7 (2018/2019) 14,032​
​Total (2012 to 2019) ​78,902


Urban development capacity

The Development Strategy provides the strategic direction for how, where and when urban growth is delivered over the life of the Auckland Plan 2050.

Sufficient, feasible development capacity must be provided over this period. The Development Strategy therefore identifies the expected location, timing, and sequence of future development capacity in the existing urban areas and future urban areas.

This is informed by:

To meet Auckland’s demand for housing over the next 30 years, a minimum target of 408,300 dwellings has been set to provide sufficient feasible development capacity.

The diagram below illustrates the relationship between enabled capacity, feasible capacity and what the market actually delivers.

Housing capacity in Auckland​


Enabled capacity

There are currently about 550,000 residential dwellings in Auckland.  The Auckland Unitary Plan enables capacity for approximately one million additional residential dwellings.  Only some of this enabled capacity will be realised each decade to meet Auckland's growth.

Enabled capacity will change over time as capacity is taken up, that is, as development happens. It will also change as the planning controls of the Auckland Unitary Plan change.

Feasible capacity

Feasible capacity is the amount of development that is commercially viable, taking into account current costs, revenue and yields.

It is a commercial 'filter' on enabled capacity, providing a 'snapshot' in time.  It is not a forecast or projection of development, but does allow scenarios to be tested.

Feasible capacity is dynamic and changes subject to the housing and construction markets and economic conditions. 

A range of development indicators will be monitored on a quarterly and annual basis, to ensure informed responses.

Auckland's dwelling growth to 2048

Auckland's anticipated population and dwelling growth over the next 30 years will occur across the region, as shown in the table below.

Around 62 per cent of development over the next 30 years is anticipated to be within the existing urban area.

The remaining development is anticipated to occur in future urban areas (32 per cent) and in rural areas (6 per cent). The future urban areas will be urbanised in a managed, staged approach to ensure integration between land use planning and delivery of bulk infrastructure.

Anticipated dwelling growth by decade

Decade 1

The greatest amount of growth in residential dwelling supply is expected in the first decade of the plan. This reflects recent high population growth, which is expected to taper off and return to a more modest, long-term growth rate sometime during the first decade.

Less growth is anticipated in the future urban areas in this decade relative to other area categories. This reflects the time it will take to plan and service many of these areas with infrastructure. The build-out of these areas may take even longer, depending on:

  • overall housing demand
  • the ability of these areas to deliver smaller, more affordable housing options
  • locational preferences.

Decade 1 (2018-2028):

​Decades 2 and 3

Over the last two decades of the plan there will be less certainty about demand and supply of capacity that will be needed. Annual monitoring will enable planning to respond to changing trends.

Further growth in development areas is anticipated, with the advantages of greater accessibility of these areas through delivery of major transport projects likely to attract development.

In the future urban area more development is expected in decades two and three than in decade one, as infrastructure delivery is progressed.

Decade 2 (2028-2038):

Decade 3 (2038-2048):

Read about Anticipated growth - where and when.


Development Strategy measures

Auckland Council will monitor residential and business development against the Development Strategy to track progress on development capacity and delivery across Auckland.

This is intended to ensure planning and infrastructure funding decisions are well-informed, timely and responsive to growth demands.

This will in turn ensure Auckland maintains a balanced supply of development capacity that is consistent with the strategic approach to managing Auckland's growth as set out in the Development Strategy.

Primary measures include:

  • new dwellings consented
  • location of new dwellings consented
  • typology of new dwellings consented
  • resident satisfaction with built environment at a neighbourhood level
  • number of jobs accessible in the morning peak (within 30 minutes by car, 45 minutes by public transport)
  • hectares of industrial zoned land.

These measures will be reported on at least annually, except for resident satisfaction which will be reported bi-annually.

A series of indicators, consistent with central government guidance on urban development capacity will also be monitored, including:

  • prices and rents for housing, residential land and business land
  • consents granted for urban development
  • population growth
  • housing affordability
  • price efficiency in the land and development market.

Related information