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Experts say the recent earthquake experienced in New Zealand (NZ) is spurring growth in the country’s homebuilding sector, particularly in the area of Canterbury. Statistics New Zealand reports that residential building activity increased 20% in that area, while overall activity grew by 9% when seasonally adjusted. Data show that building permits are at their highest in five years, but they also appear to be nearing their peak. New house trends are improving, but they still remain below the peak seen in 2003. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.

Residential building activity grew strongly in New Zealand in the September 2013 quarter, particularly in Canterbury, according to the latest data from Statistics New Zealand.

In current prices, residential building activity grew by a seasonally adjusted 9%. Within this, Canterbury region grew by 20% and the increase across the rest of the country was 6.2%.

‘Residential building activity is on the up again. In value terms, Canterbury region led with strong growth,’ said industry and labour statistics manager Clara Eatherley.

Also in the Canterbury region this quarter, the value of non residential building activity was 22% higher, following a 14% fall in the June quarter.
‘A quarter of all building activity value was in the Canterbury region this quarter. Both residential and non-residential building activity in Canterbury grew at least a fifth, recovering from falls in the June 2013 quarter,’ explained Eatherley.

Across the country, the volume of residential building activity rose 8.1% in the quarter and non-residential building activity fell 6.4%, while overall building activity increased 1.4%. The volume trend for all building activity continued to grow in the September 2013 quarter, but the rate of growth appears to be slowing.

The increase in consented new houses has slowed in recent months, the data also shows. ‘The trend for new houses is at its highest level in over five years, but the rate of increase is easing,’ said Blair Cardno, industry and labour statistics manager.

In October, 1,758 new houses were consented, as well as 133 apartments. In seasonally adjusted terms, the number of new houses fell 2.3% following a 2.7% rise in September.

The trend for new houses is up 65% from the most recent low point in March 2011, but is still 30% below the peak in September 2003.

The total value of all building work consented in October was $1,182 million. This comprised $739 million of planned residential building work and $443 million of planned non-residential building work.

Canterbury accounted for 30% of the houses and apartments consented in October, with Auckland accounting for 25%.
Cardno said that the number of consented new dwellings in Canterbury has been ramping up in recent months due to the re-building of the city following the earthquakes.

In October, 572 new houses were consented in Canterbury and building consents identified as earthquake related were valued at $62 million, including 78 new houses.

This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.