Wide regional variations in residential building

Residential construction activity has held up much better than expected since the economy went into lockdown in late March. Some areas have seen a strong burst of activity, but others have seen a softening in anticipated building levels. This article explores some of the emerging regional trends in consent numbers, with detailed regional forecasts of activity available as part of our Regional Construction Outlook.

Media Release: Strong rebound for regional economic activity, but path ahead remains uncertain

New Zealand’s economy rebounded strongly in the September quarter, with regional economies showing renewed strength as they get back on their feet. The latest Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor points to a surge in activity as the economy’s resilience saw businesses and consumers swing back into action after a substantial hit in the June quarter.

Too many houses are mouldy, damp, and cold

Housing remains a hot issue across New Zealand. But there’s not as much focus on the quality of the housing we endlessly debate. In part, this lack of focus is because we haven’t had great insights to work with – and what gets measured gets managed. But Infometrics analysis of Census 2018 data shows some disturbing results, with a concerning number of mouldy, damp or cold houses.

Industry concentrations, and the fall of Think Big?

The COVID-19 pandemic has had major ramifications for the New Zealand economy and put a spotlight on the structure of local economies. One of the key determinants of how regional economies are performing is how much of a focus they have on either of the tourism or primary sectors. But a bigger issue looms for some areas, with some key industrial players rapidly reassessing their future, which could remove a substantial chunk of activity from some local economies.

This pandemic is not over yet – not by a long shot

The announcement of community transmission of COVID-19 in August has been a reality check on our progress towards recovery. With Auckland now under Alert Level 3 restrictions, and the rest of New Zealand at Alert Level 2, the economic outlook has turned darker. This note provides our initial analysis of the economic effects of the changes, as well as an update on how our view of the economic outlook is changing.

Chart of the month – Where did you come from, where did you go?

The New Zealand border has been closed since March, and with it, international tourism has all but vanished. International arrivals in July were 98% lower than a year ago, with only 3,521 arrivals. But even though there aren’t many new visitors arriving, there are quite a few still in New Zealand. Data published by StatsNZ estimates there to be somewhere between 90,000 and 140,000 international tourists currently residing across the country, which has implications for employment and support needs.