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We occasionally get requests for pieces of data that we don’t routinely forecast. This article looks at some work we’ve been doing around non-residential consents to provide a greater level of detail for subscribers to our forecasts, looking at the split of consents into new buildings and alterations and additions, as well as the number of non-residential consents being issued. Read

Wellington apartment construction - Nov 2022

Recent data has been showing a downshift in residential building activity and less retail purchasing of hardware and DIY items. Although stock levels have also been falling, retail building supply stocks remain considerably higher than pre-pandemic. Higher stock levels but still-falling sales activi... Read

Looking down on Auckland construction - July 2023

A high and more persistent inflationary environment continues to cause challenges across the economy, although a moderation in the pace of cost increases has thankfully begun. It’s still challenging to celebrate current pricing trends – they’re not as frantic as previously, but equally they’re not back to normal either. Read

Weather has significantly affected New Zealand throughout the first half of 2023. The effects of the extreme weather events on Auckland, Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, and other parts of the upper North Island have been well documented. Aside from these events, the persistent wet weather has also made conditions difficult for the construction industry. Building work put in place data for the March quarter was surprisingly strong, but we have some concerns about the accuracy of this data. This article looks at whether ready-mixed concrete data provides any different information on construction activity. Read

In recent months, one of the common questions when talking to firms involved in residential construction is about the timing and steepness of the looming downturn in activity for the industry. Data released earlier this week showed that total consent numbers in the three months to May were down 23% from a year ago. The annual consent total has now retreated to 45,159, down from 51,015 at its peak in May last year. Read

One of the most consistent themes in data for the March quarter has been the moderation in pricing pressures. The most high-profile example was the easing in consumers price inflation from 7.2% to 6.7%pa, with the index’s rise of 1.2% from December being the smallest quarterly increase in two years. Although inflation remains elevated, the fact that it has started to head in the right direction has given the Reserve Bank the confidence to declare the official cash rate is on hold for now. Read

Wellington Townhouses

Townhouse consents in the last 12 months have reached a record 42% of all new dwelling consents, up from less than 6% of all new consents in late 2012. This phenomenal growth over the last decade has been underpinned by a combination of deteriorating housing affordability and more relaxed planning a... Read

Flooding damage

In the early days following Cyclone Gabrielle, there were whispers that we could be facing a repair and rebuilding mission on a similar scale to the one following the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. But six weeks after the cyclone, the recovery picture is becoming clearer. By the first half of March, there were just over 100 red-stickered properties across Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne, with more than 1,000 additional yellow-stickered properties. Read

Construction costs

New data from Stats NZ shows that the residential construction subindustry might be over the worst of its cost pressures. Residential construction costs rose by 2.0% in the December 2022 quarter and, although cost inflation is still highly elevated compared to the last three decades, this quarterly increase was the smallest since March 2021. Annual cost inflation for dwelling units has now eased from 16% to 13%pa since mid-2022. Read

line of people queueing at an airport

Since New Zealand’s borders fully reopened in July last year, net migration has turned strongly positive. The net inflow of people in the three months to October 2022 was 8,558 people, representing the biggest net inflow since early 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Read