New Zealand House Building Activity Flattens Out

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New Zealand building work edged up in the second quarter as increased activity in non-residential construction offset flat activity in housing.

The volume of building work put in place rose a seasonally adjusted one per cent in the three months ended June 30, slowing from a 15 per cent pace in the March quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand.

That was led by a 2.5 per cent lift in non-residential construction activity, while residential activity was unchanged having climbed 14 per cent in the March quarter.

The value of work rose 1.8 per cent across all buildings to $NZ3.8 billion ($A3.54 billion) in the quarter, with a 3.1 per cent increase in non-residential work to $NZ1.44b and a one per cent gain in residential values to $NZ2.33b.

“The trend for residential building work has been rising for 11 quarters, and is now 68 per cent higher than the most recent low point in the September 2011 quarter,” Statistics NZ said in its report.

“However, it is still seven per cent lower than the series maximum in the June 2004 quarter.”

Construction has been seen as a major driver for New Zealand’s economy as the Canterbury earthquake rebuild hits its peak momentum, while a shortage of housing in Auckland stokes building activity in the country’s biggest city.

Wednesday’s figures show Canterbury building activity was worth $NZ970 million in the June quarter, up 5.6 per cent in the quarter and adding to the 24 per cent jump in the March period.

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