NZ home building stalls in September quarter
By Paul McBeth
Dec. 8 (BusinessDesk) – The value of new home building stalled in the September quarter amid a slowdown in the economic recovery as households focus on repaying debt.
The value of residential building work put in place dropped 5.3% to $1.65 billion in the three months ended Sept. 30, leading declines in the construction sector. The value of all buildings fell 3.2% to $1.98 billion, with commercial construction falling 0.7% to $924 million in the quarter.
The pause comes after nine months of expansion for residential development, and six months in the commercial sector. The period includes the immediate fall-out from the September earthquake in Canterbury, which caused an estimated $4 billion worth of property damage in the region.
Construction has gone off the boil in the second half of the year, with home building consents, excluding volatile apartments data, recording a fourth monthly decline in October. The wider property market has been in a rut through much of this year, with muted house sales and declining values reflecting the focus of households to repay outstanding debts rather than ramp up new spending.
A bright note in today’s data was the doubling in value of factory and industrial production value to $106 million from the three months ended June 30.