Statistics New Zealand estimates $6.11 billion of building work was put in place in the first quarter of this year, up 15.7% from the same quarter of last year.
It comprised $3.915 billion of residential building work, up 12.2% on Q1 2018, and $2.195 billion of non-residential work, up 22.4%.
Regionally, the biggest growth occurred in the Waikato, where $595 million of building work was put in place in Q1 2019, up 30.0% on the same period of last year, followed by Auckland where $2.541 billion of building work was put in place, up 25.7%.
However the construction industry was less buoyant in Wellington and Canterbury.
In the Capital, $474 million of new building work was put in place in the first quarter of this year, up just 1.5% compared to the same quarter of last year.
Growth in building work in Wellington has been in low single digit or negative territory for the last three quarters, suggesting building work there has flattened after a period of strong growth from 2015.
In Canterbury the level of building work is still robust but is declining as much of the post earthquake construction activity winds down.
In the first quarter of this year a respectable $931 million of new building work was recorded, but that was down 1.0% compared to the same period of last year.
It was the tenth straight quarter in a row in which building work has declined in Canterbury.
Westpac Senior Economist Satish Ranchhod said the results were stronger than expected.
"Construction activity is set to remain strong over 2019, supported by strength in residential, commercial and infrastructure work," he said.
"However, it looks like the peak in the nationwide construction cycle is fast approaching.
"We expect this to occur in 2020."
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