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Investment in Commercial Buildings Higher

Building Consents Issued: December 1999

Investment in Commercial Buildings Higher

The level of investment in commercial buildings continued to rise in December 1999 according to the latest release from Statistics New Zealand. The underlying trend for the value of consents issued for non-residential building projects increased almost 2 per cent. Commercial building consents were $231.7 million, following November's total of $273.1 million. With the exception of one other month, totals throughout 1999 were below $200 million.

A number of large consents influenced the high total. Making up the greatest portion of the non-residential total were social, cultural and religious buildings. The total for this building type was boosted by large consents issued for upgrades to public recreational facilities. Shops, restaurants and taverns have recorded a higher than usual total for the second month in a row, largely influenced by alterations and additions to existing shopping malls.

There were 1,979 new dwellings authorised in December. These were valued at $268.8 million. The underlying trend for the number and value of new dwellings is declining and has been for five months. Uncertainty about rising interest rates may be affecting the level of new housing applications. The number of apartment units authorised in December was 325, with over half being in Auckland. Consents for apartment units have risen substantially over the last year, and despite reports of saturation in the apartment market, monthly totals do not yet appear to be seriously affected.

Ian Ewing Deputy Government Statistician

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