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Increase in Construction Activity in March Quarter

Value of Building Work Put in Place: March 2000 quarter

Increase in Construction Activity in March Quarter

The March 2000 quarter seasonally adjusted value of building work put in place was 13.7 per cent higher than the December 1999 quarter according to Statistics New Zealand. A seasonally adjusted 20.9 per cent rise in residential construction work is the main reason for the increase.

A number of large apartment buildings for which consents were issued in the latter half of 1999, are still impacting on the value of work put in place on residential buildings in the March quarter. An apartment building boom evident throughout 1999 was largely influenced by a trend towards inner city living, as well as low interest rates and events such as the America's Cup. The actual value of work put in place on residential buildings in the March 2000 quarter was $1,271.6 million, comprising of $1,071.1 million for new dwellings and $200.5 million for alterations, additions and outbuildings.

Compared to the residential series, non-residential building work put in place had a relatively small seasonally adjusted increase of 2.4 per cent. This follows a larger increase the previous quarter of 12.3 per cent and indicates a slowing down of growth in building work put in place on non-residential building projects. Consents issued for non-residential buildings over the last year have also shown little movement.

Commercial buildings contributed the greatest amount to the total value of non-residential work put in place. Factories and industrial buildings however, had the largest percentage change compared with the same quarter of the previous year; up 50.8 per cent. The total actual value of work put in place on non-residential building projects was $676.8 million.

The total value of work put in place in the March 2000 quarter for all buildings was $1,948.4 million. When the series has been adjusted to remove the effects of price changes and seasonality, the value of work put in place in constant prices increased 13 per cent.

Ian Ewing

Deputy Government Statistician

END

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