Building activity bounces back

The volume of building activity bounced back to normal levels in the September 2020 quarter, following the significant drop in the COVID-hit June 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said today.

Volume measures of building work put in place exclude the effects of increasing construction costs to show underlying changes in the volume of work.

“Overall building activity was at pre-COVID levels in the September 2020 quarter, with residential work up 4.2 percent on the same period in 2019,” construction statistics manager Michael Heslop said.

“This quarter’s residential building volume is the highest estimate since the series began in 1989, but is still provisional due to COVID-related measurement challenges.”

After accounting for higher construction costs, estimated total building activity fell 0.6 percent in the September 2020 quarter compared with the September 2019 quarter. While the volume of work on residential buildings rose 4.2 percent, work on non-residential buildings fell 7.2 percent compared with the same period in 2019.

QuarterTotal buildingsResidentialNon-residential
Sep-0017535054561067350340686155115.5
Dec-001705035352924983108.2780052243.6
Mar-011398118610794309187.9603809422.5
Jun-011666660925910087113.9756573810.8
Sep-011736318194916144562.6820173631.5
Dec-0119147297491130653870784075878.8
Mar-021565865376876867780688997595.6
Jun-0217710038101035776535735227274.7
Sep-0220619036501256182739805720910.9
Dec-0221266551801294286646832368533.9
Mar-0318504337381163815813686617924.5
Jun-0320408215261338576855702244671
Sep-0323338824781475274544858607933.6
Dec-0322822254081471618687810606721.2
Mar-0419981465081288835673709310834.8
Jun-0423805730331536808528843764505.1
Sep-0424868951401518022871968872268.9
Dec-0423523039211452653220899650701.9
Mar-0521116402791291103211820537067.6
Jun-05248454834014135287961071019544
Sep-05250407262113979881481106084473
Dec-05245234021014228001461029540064
Mar-0622500578621280125632969932230.1
Jun-06230497597312924411971012534776
Sep-0624036651091404398038999267071.3
Dec-0623525159701421439278931076691.7
Mar-0721372259201253756701883469219.2
Jun-0723348757821425168136909707646.2
Sep-0724967575901545723262951034328.4
Dec-07252718645015150435931012142857
Mar-0821093706281251592932857777696.3
Jun-0821529240131237596753915327259.5
Sep-08222305030612063028171016747489
Dec-0820285034561039751123988752333.1
Mar-091812468936920933247.8891535688.5
Jun-091857986613922335263.8935651349.4
Sep-091859965526936742727.9923222797.9
Dec-0918496304511005788896843841554.6
Mar-101690305182904001289.5786303892.2
Jun-1019793093871088197943891111443.5
Sep-1019817455261058663252923082273.8
Dec-101973606097967396794.91006209302
Mar-111654258128853936538.5800321589.2
Jun-111684865445823954863.3860910581.2
Sep-111704863465855311868.7849551596.1
Dec-111756392548886030798.2870361749.4
Mar-121570791455789833646780957809
Jun-121716056682918294847.9797761834.3
Sep-1219454019941007198892938203101.9
Dec-1219866878541009748928976938925.7
Mar-1318664495291020867112845582417.6
Jun-1320033728691073345901930026967.9
Sep-1321063882671217879597888508670.5
Dec-1320786266721202791202875835470.1
Mar-1422064070781289799304916607773.9
Jun-1423346396761335488838999150838
Sep-14249743563013904515581106984072
Dec-14241006936113931063471016963014
Mar-1523122667331350966869961299864.3
Jun-15241376495613646746591049090297
Sep-15249153870214195587281071979973
Dec-15255902470114819072501077117452
Mar-16255890292015049424191053960500
Jun-16279080077216187251041172075669
Sep-16289368584216748848111218801030
Dec-16292045833416995909551220867379
Mar-17267161409816210931741050520924
Jun-17275737822116446242041112754017
Sep-17291321017017488884581164321713
Dec-17293729199717443982771192893720
Mar-18273561848216615364461074082036
Jun-18286287244817006208201162251628
Sep-18296407448417632387161200835769
Dec-18305647948017948838711261595610
Mar-19304800455217916485131256356039
Jun-19308675074418075084051279242338
Sep-19319267573018416840681350991662
Dec-19317195128418686932021303258082
Mar-20286334282916850354301178307399
Jun-2022878478831370662115917185768.6
Sep-20317381109619196239021254187195

“Estimated non-residential building work fell 7.2 percent in the latest quarter, compared with the series high a year ago in the September 2019 quarter. Non-residential building activity can fluctuate from quarter to quarter, partly reflecting large commercial projects starting, ending, and, in some cases, pausing during construction,” Mr Heslop said.

Building activity down compared with September 2019 year

In the year ended September 2020, the overall volume of building activity was 7.2 percent lower than in the September 2019 year. Residential building activity was down 5.4 percent, and non-residential down 9.6 percent over the same period.

YearResidential buildingsNon-residential buildings
201555283066044109792978
201662804595844536023927
201767158574744564002533
201868697942584630063153
201972357248575148185649
202068440146484652938445

Building activity estimates remain provisional

Due to COVID-19, the value of building work put in place estimates are less certain than usual and provide an initial indication of construction activity. The estimates remain provisional and are likely to be refined over time.

See Impact of COVID-19 on the value of building work put in place for September 2020 quarter.

Impact of COVID-19 on residential building sentiments in Auckland

Many quarterly building activity survey respondents also answered COVID-19-specific questions. Respondents for residential building projects in Auckland reported a greater impact from COVID-19 than those for non-residential building projects, and projects outside of Auckland.

See Impact of COVID-19 on residential building sentiments in Auckland.

/Stats NZ Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.