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Canterbury on the rise

Posted on Dec 12, 2012

Canterbury earthquake related building consents totalled $52 million in October, according to latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand.

Of the $52 million recorded for, $25 million was for residential buildings, including 45 new dwellings. A further $26 million was for non-residential building work. So far this year the monthly value has ranged from $25 million to $59 million.

Since September 4, 2010 almost 3,200 earthquake-related consents have been identified in Canterbury, totalling $689 million. This includes 526 new dwellings, of which 149 were relocatable units. Also included are alterations and additions for residential buildings, non-residential buildings, and non-building construction.

The Canterbury region posted the largest increase in the number of new dwellings consented, up 122 from October 2011 to 333 consents.

The number of new dwellings consented in Christchurch and the surrounding areas were:

• Christchurch city 121
• Selwyn district 81
• Waimakiriri district 64

The number of new houses consented in October 2012 New Zealand was the highest for any month in over four years.

“There were 1,639 new houses consented in October,” industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno says. “This was the highest we’ve seen in over four years – since May 2008.”

“When we compare these figures with the same time last year, the number of new houses in October increased 32 percent,” Mr Cardno says. “There is a clear trend over the last 19 months, which shows an increase in new houses, both including and excluding apartments.”

The rebuild has also led to Canterbury being named the most upbeat region in the latest ANZ Bank Business Outlook. Hiring intentions were firmest in the construction sector, with a net 31 percent of companies planning to take on more workers as the rebuild of Christchurch picks up steam.

Strong readings in Canterbury “tie in with increasing signs of rebuild-related activity, a dynamic that will become more pronounced in the economic data over 2013,” says ANZ Bank New Zealand chief economist Cameron Bagrie.

The Quarterly Labour Market report released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, says The New Zealand economy continues to recover slowly from the 2008/09 recession, supported by post-quake reconstruction activity in Christchurch.

During the year, employment in Canterbury grew by 2.9 percent (8,800 people). This growth was driven by a 17.9 percent (11,600 people) rise in part-time employment, while full-time employment fell by 1.2 percent (2,800 people).

“By industry, the largest contributor was jobs in professional, scientific, technical, administrative and support services (up 9,000 people or 26.5 percent). Employment in transport, postal and warehousing grew by 3,300 people (22.9 percent) and construction grew by 2,900 people (9.8 percent),” the report says.

The employment rate rose 2.8 percentage points in the year to 65.8 percent, while the participation rate rose 2.7 percentage points to 69.4 percent. The unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points over the year to 5.2 percent. The number of people unemployed fell by 2.2 percent (400 people).

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