Building activity rise tipped to continue

Last updated 05:00 09/11/2012

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Fletcher Building expects New Zealand building activity to outpace that in Australia in the next year.

Fletcher Building general manager of investor and media relations Philip King said the listed company was forecasting that New Zealand residential and commercial consents would continue to modestly increase.

Australian residential activity, however, could experience more volatility and commercial construction was likely to remain subdued.

Infrastructure was the only construction area where Australian building was expected to remain steady, he said.

"What we're seeing is Australia has been slowing down over the last 15 months in their new housing consents and New Zealand has been picking at the same time.

"Australia has had quite strong housing over the last several years, where New Zealand reached all-time lows with its housing, exacerbated, of course, with what has happened in Canterbury."

But the sector has strengthened in New Zealand in the last financial year and the number of issued residential consents has risen 14 per cent, from 13,539 for the year to June last year, to 15,414 for the year to June this year, according to Statistics New Zealand.

In the same period, Australia had a 12 per cent fall, from 164,251 in the 12 months to June last year, to 145,057 this year, Australian Bureau of Statistics reports. Fairfax NZ

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- The Dominion Post

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