Building work ramps up in third-quarter

Residential activity is at a record high.

The value of New Zealand building work gained in the September quarter, as both non-residential and residential activity increased, after a relatively flat start to the year, says Statistics New Zealand.

The seasonally adjusted value of total building work rose 4 percent in the three months ended Sept. 30, having gained 0.9 percent in the June quarter. Residential work gained 5.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis while non-residential work increased 1.6 percent in the quarter.

Total building activity advanced 2.7 percent in the quarter. Residential work rose 4.1 percent, a number which excludes the effects of higher construction costs and typical seasonal patterns, while non-residential work increased a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent in the quarter.

"Residential building activity is at a record high, while non-residential activity peaked in late 2016," construction statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said. "While the volume of residential building activity is at a record high, the number of new homes consented was higher in the mid-1970s and 2004. This may reflect that homes and alterations being built now are often bigger, more complex, and subject to different regulations."

The quarterly statistics are a measure of past building activity, whereas building consents issued, which showed a decrease in the October 2017 month, is an indicator for the pipeline of upcoming building work, Stats NZ said.

The actual value of all building work rose 4.9 percent to $5.16 billion in the three months ended Sept. 30, with the value of residential work up 7.6 percent to $3.36 billion while non-residential work increased 0.2 percent to $1.8 billion.

The value of all building work in Auckland was $1.95 billion, up 6.8 percent on the year while it was $998 million in Canterbury, down 14 percent on the year. Compared with the June 2016 quarter, the value of residential building work increased 6.6 percent in Auckland, to $1.28 billion or 38 percent of the New Zealand total, Stats NZ said.


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