Canterbury construction at record levels

Construction ChristchurchLiz McDonald at The Press reports:

Construction in Canterbury is at record levels with the peak yet to come.

Nearly $4 billion worth of construction work was done in the region last year – a record high and 38 per cent more than in 2013.
The Statistics New Zealand figures include more than $2.5b worth of home building, up from $1.6b the previous year.

Anthony Leighs, head of Christchurch’s Leighs Construction and chairman of the New Zealand Master Builders Federation, said the industry was “very, very busy” and would remain so until at least 2016.

“We haven’t peaked yet. I think that will happen towards the end of this year and into the next year, when some really significant projects will be ramping up.”

The last three months of 2014 were the busiest on record for construction in Canterbury. The region is the second-busiest for building work in New Zealand, behind Auckland.

And it’s certainly noticeable! Almost everyday, I’m seeing new houses being built, new buildings in the central city, roads repaired and infrastructure being laid. While momentarily disruptive, there’s solace in the fact that soon our surrounds will be much improved.

Statistics New Zealand said Canterbury’s construction spend had been rising steadily since the earthquakes, and was almost two-and-a-half times what it was before the start of the quakes in 2010. The rate of increase now appeared to be flattening, it said.

A total of 7300 new homes and 5200 alterations got consent. Ninety eight per cent of house building approved was private.

Major Canterbury building projects under way include $650m of work at Burwood and Christchurch hospitals, the central Christchurch bus interchange and emergency services and justice precinct, and school and university builds. Yet to start are the convention centre, performing arts precinct, metro sports facility and central library, and a new school for the north-east suburbs.

Nationally, more than $15 billion worth of building work was carried out in 2014, up almost a quarter from 2013. Together, Auckland and Canterbury accounted for $9.7b of this.

With all that our city has been through over the past few years, it’s definitely exciting to see that things are on the up.

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