5 Jun 2013

Housebuilding activity highest in a decade

7:15 pm on 5 June 2013

Residential building activity is at its highest level in 10 years, with Canterbury leading the way.

Official figures show residential building grew a seasonally adjusted 12% in the March quarter, compared with 1.6% in the last three months of 2012.

The rise is the fourth consecutive quarter of increases in residential building volumes.

Non-residential building activity fell a seasonally adjusted 0.8%, after growth in the previous three months.

Residential building in Canterbury lifted 21% compared to 11.4% throughout the rest of the country.

Non-residential building in Canterbury was up 26% compared to a 4.5% fall in the rest of the country.

Canterbury earthquake related building consents totalled $147 million in March, down from $156 million in the December quarter.

Infometrics economist Matt Nolan says substantial increases in Canterbury and Auckland were behind the rise in overall building activity.

He says the increases were largely in line with expectations because consent data had already indicated there was a lot of building activity taking place.

The trend for overall building activity has been positive for the last 18 months and is now close to levels last seen in the September 2008 quarter.