The volume of work on non-residential buildings fell a seasonally adjusted 4.9 percent in the December 2020 quarter, compared with the September 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said today.
The estimated volume of non-residential construction work fell sharply in the June 2020 quarter after the COVID-19 national lockdown in April. It then bounced back in the September quarter, before dropping again in the December quarter.
Volume estimates show real changes in building activity over time, by accounting for typical seasonal patterns and construction cost changes.
“The volume of commercial building work, including shops, offices, storage, and accommodation buildings, has been running at elevated levels for about three years, but is down from the high point in late 2019,” construction statistics manager Michael Heslop said.
“This reflects both a recent slowdown in some commercial work in Auckland, and a longer-term decline in Canterbury after the high levels seen during the post-2011 quake rebuild.”
In the same period, the estimated volume of residential building work rose slightly, up 0.7 percent in the December 2020 quarter, following a strong bounce-back in the September quarter.
The total volume of building activity has fallen slightly since the September 2019 quarter, but remains at historically high levels. Within this, increases in estimated residential volume have been partly offset by decreases in non-residential work.
“Building work put in place in the December 2020 quarter includes projects consented some months and even years ago, as there is a lag between the building consent being issued and construction happening on the ground,” Mr Heslop said.
“Recently consented new homes and non-residential buildings will be reflected in future quarters.”
These estimates remain provisional due to COVID-19 related measurement challenges. See Methodology for Value of building work put in place: December 2020 quarter.
Commercial building values slow in Auckland and Canterbury
Auckland drove the December 2020 quarter fall in the value of non-residential building work. In Canterbury, non-residential building activity has been generally falling for over four years, as the earthquake rebuild winds down. These value measures are not adjusted for cost changes or seasonal effects, unlike the volume measures which are adjusted.
“Non-residential building activity can fluctuate from quarter to quarter, partly reflecting large commercial projects starting, ending, and some pausing during construction,” Mr Heslop said.
The value of residential building activity grew across all main regions, up 8.1 percent nationally compared with the December 2019 quarter. In Auckland, residential building was near $1.9 billion in the December 2020 quarter, up from about $1 billion five years ago.
|Quarter||Auckland residential||Auckland non-residential||Canterbury residential||Canterbury non-residential|
Auckland home builders report increased supply pressures
Respondents for residential building projects in Auckland reported more impact from availability of materials and equipment than those for non-residential building projects, and projects outside of Auckland.