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Decline in Building Activity

The total value of building consents issued in June 2000 was $471.1 million according to Statistics New Zealand.

This brings the half yearly total up to $2,822.9 million, compared with $3,431.2 million in the second half of 1999 and $3,070.1 million in the first half of that year. A number of factors may be influencing recent building activity such as interest rate rises, a depressed real estate market and the end of work relating to the America's Cup regatta.

There were 1,598 new dwelling units authorised in June 2000 valued at $240.3 million. This follows the relatively high total recorded in May of 2,103 new dwellings. The underlying trend for the number of new dwellings has been declining for 11 months. Most territorial authorities recorded a drop in new dwellings for June, with Auckland City recording its lowest monthly total since October 1998. In the first six months of the year, the total number of dwellings authorised was 10,315. This compares with 13,929 in the preceding six months and 12,448 in the first six months of 1999.

The value of consents for new dwellings has fallen correspondingly.

There were 174 apartment units authorised in June valued at $20.9 million. All of these were in the North Island. Apartments in the first half of 2000 have also shown a decline, with 1,318 new units authorised, compared with 2,248 in the second half of 1999 and 1,750 in the first half of 1999. Consents issued for non-residential building projects were valued at $169.5 million. Although there were several consents for large projects, none of these were valued at over $10 million. Offices and administration buildings contributed the greatest proportion to the non-residential building total with $30.8 million. Hostels and boarding houses recorded the lowest monthly total for that building type since January 1997.

Consents for non-residential buildings in the first half of the year were valued at $977.2 million, compared with $1,179.3 million in the previous six months and $1,040.8 million in the same period last year. The underlying trend for the value of non-residential buildings has been declining for eight months.

Ian Ewing Deputy Government Statistician

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