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Small Upturn in Non-residential Building

Building Consents Issued - May 1999

Small Upturn in Non-residential Building Intentions

The underlying trend for the value of consents issued for construction of both residential and non-residential building work increased in May 1999. Increases in the non-residential building consents trend have been recorded in both April and May 1999. This follows a year of consistent declines.

While it is too early to tell whether this is a definite turning point for non-residential building consents, it may be that favorable conditions, such as low interest rates, that have been affecting the residential building industry are filtering through to the non-residential building industry.

There has been a large increase in the value of consents for hospitals and nursing homes. This is mainly due to a consent for a new private hospital in the Waitaki District. Consents for construction of, and additions to rest homes have also contributed to the higher than average total.

The number of new dwellings authorised in May 1999 was 2,377, one of the highest totals in recent years. High monthly totals for new dwellings in April and May have been influenced by a large number of consents for apartment units, with these accounting for 446 and 373 of the totals respectively. Growth in residential building over the last few months has been most apparent in Waitakere, Auckland, Manukau, Tauranga and Christchurch. These cities have shown significantly higher totals than they had throughout most of the previous year. The strong growth in residential construction intentions is indicative of improving domestic demand conditions.

The total value of building work authorised in May was $550 million, made up of $383 million for residential consents and $167 million for non-residential building consents.

Ian Ewing Deputy Government Statistician 30 June 1999

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