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NZ building work climbs in June quarter

NZ building work climbs in June quarter, swelled by non-residential activity

By Paul McBeth

Sept. 3 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand construction activity expanded for a second quarter, swelled by non-residential work as the focus of the Canterbury rebuild shifts to commercial buildings.

The volume of building work put in place across all buildings rose a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent in the three months ended June 30, from a 1.8 percent pace of expansion in the March quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. Of that, non-residential work grew 5.2 percent, accounting for about 44 percent of activity in the period, while residential work shrank 1 percent.

On a value basis, all building work rose 2.2 percent in the quarter, with a 5.9 percent gain in non-residential work and a 0.1 percent increase in residential activity.

"The value of both residential and non-residential building work increased overall," business indicators manager Neil Kelly said in a statement. "In Auckland, residential work grew, while in Canterbury most of the growth was in non-residential work."

Building activity is forecast to remain robust over the next six years, with $209.4 billion of work projected over that period, peaking in 2016 at $36.5 billion of work. The bulk of that is associated with house building in Auckland, where builders are under pressure to erect properties to meet unsatisfied demand in the country's biggest city.

The August ANZ Business Outlook published this week showed a net 12 percent of respondents in the construction sector see increased investment in residential building over the coming year, while a net 9.4 percent see a contraction in commercial activity.

Today's data show Auckland residential work rose a seasonally adjusted 4.8 percent in the three months through June, its eighth quarterly expansion, while house building shrank 4.3 percent in Canterbury. In non-residential work, Auckland activity shrank 3.3 percent, its third quarterly contraction, while Canterbury work grew 18 percent, the biggest expansion since September 2013.

On an unadjusted basis, the value of all building work rose 7.9 percent in the June quarter to $4.06 billion from the same period a year earlier, for an annual increase of 15 percent to $15.96 billion.

Residential building work rose 7.3 percent to $2.5 billion in the quarter from June 2014, with new dwellings were up 9.3 percent to $2.03 billion, while non-residential work expanded 8.8 percent to $1.56 billion.


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