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Residential and commercial construction activity is still at record levels with no sign of a downturn yet


By Greg Ninness

The building industry continues to defy predictions of a downturn in business, with Statistics NZ estimating building activity rose 3.8% in the September quarter compared to the June quarter.

Residential building work was up 3.1% and non-residential building activity was up 4.9%.

Those estimates remove the effects of inflation, suggesting actual activity levels are continuing to rise.

"In the September 2022 quarter building activity increased across the majority of building types and regions," Statistics NZ construction and property statistics manager Michael Heslop said.

The total dollar value of all building work commenced in the September quarter was $9.309 billion (excluding GST), which was up 33.8% compared to the September quarter of last year.

That included $6.362 billion of residential building work and $2.947 billion on non-residential work - see the graph below for the quarterly trends.

Statistics NZ estimated that residential building costs increased by 3.0% between the June and September quarters of this year, while non-residential building costs were up by 1.5% over the same period.


Westpac Senior Economist Satish Ranchhod said the building sector was continuing to run hot with construction activity at its highest level in decades.

"We expect that building activity will remain elevated through the early part of next year," Ranchhod said.

"Consent issuance has been running at record levels, with especially large numbers in Auckland and Canterbury.

"However capacity constraints, especially shortages of skilled staff, remain a handbrake on how quickly projects can be completed, with build times stretching out.

"That's left us with a large and growing pipeline of work that will continue to support construction activity for some time yet."

This story was originally published on and has been republished here with permission.