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Building sector growth highest in decade and Auckland is key

Nov 1st, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News

New Zealand’s economy may still be struggling, but the building sector is bucking the trend with its largest quarterly increase in 10 years.

According to a recent report from Statistics New Zealand, the seasonally adjusted volume of building activity increased 9.6% in the September 2012 quaben knightrter.

These figures include everything from the construction of new private homes to the development of existing homes, and are primarily based on the number of building consent approvals issued.

Residential building activity increased by 7.1%, while non-residential building activity increased by 12.4%.

The Canterbury rebuild effort accounted for about half the increase in both categories.

However the upper North Island also saw a notable increase in residential building work.

Blair Cardno of Statistics New Zealand believes most of this is likely to be concentrated in Auckland.

“The number of building consents for new dwellings in this region has grown recently, reaching the highest level in four years,” he said.

Fellow Statistics New Zealand researcher Clara Eatherley said Auckland was  a factor.

“There’s been talk of a housing shortage in Auckland, so that could have something to do with it,” she said.

Aaron Anderson, a Wellington self-employed builder, says while there was in increase in his work during the latter part of 2012 this is not out of the ordinary.

“I find a natural increase take places at the end of the year because of Christmas. The family is coming over so people want the bathroom done, that sort of thing.”

He says on a national level people seem more willing to spend money now than in previour years.

“I think the tendency is that people are getting through the hard section of three years ago, and they’re more keen to do building work especially if they don’t have children.”

The total value of all building activity in the September 2012 quarter (without seasonal adjustments) was $2.9 billion.

Of this, $1.6 billion of this was in residential work, a 20% increase on the same period last year.

The value of work on new homes increased by $257 million, while work on alterations, additions and out-buildings increased by $24 million.

The non-residential sector also looks set to see a lot of money change hands, with a total value of $1.3 billion of activity taking place.

This represents an 11% increase compared withto the September 2011 quarter.

Work on hospitals, nursing homes and factories has seen a $106 million increase.

In the case of factories (and general industrial buildings), this represents a 59% increase on previous figures.

Miscellaneous and commercial building work has also played a role in pulling up the statistics, with a $100 million increase in the value of building activity in this sector.

The only building sector to suffer a sharp decrease in financial terms was educational buildings, which suffered a fall of $44 million or 20%.


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