New Zealand building work accelerated in the September quarter as increased activity in non-residential construction offset a decline in residential building.

The volume of building work put in place rose a seasonally adjusted 1.5 per cent in the third quarter, accelerating from a one per cent gain three months earlier, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Non-residential construction rose 4.4 per cent, while residential building slipped 0.7 per cent.

The value of work rose 2.2 per cent across all buildings to $3.86 billion in the quarter, with a 5.4 per cent increase in non-residential building to $1.5b and a 0.4 per cent gain in residential values to $2.36b.

“The trend has been generally rising since the September 2011 quarter, the lowest point in 10 years,” said Statistics NZ.

“The level is now 43 per cent higher than three years ago, and just 2.3 per cent lower than the series high in the June 2005 quarter.”

On an annual basis, the value of all building work rose 20 per cent to $14.58b.