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In the three broad areas of construction activity - residential building, non-residential building, and engineering construction - the pattern of construction activity by area of activity has changed significantly over time.
Residential building activity which accelerated to a high level prior to the introduction of The New Tax System in July 2000, was followed by a substantial downturn in 2000-01 (graph 21.4). In 2005-06 engineering construction activity surpassed residential building in value.
Residential building involves the construction of dwelling units, including new houses, other new residential buildings (flats, apartments, villa units, townhouses, duplexes, etc.), and dwellings created as part of alterations and additions to existing buildings (including conversions to dwelling units). Building approvals are used as a key indicator of future activity, as nearly all building activity must be approved by local and/or other authorities.
Residential building approvals
Graph 21.5 shows total and residential dwelling unit approvals. Activity brought forward ahead of the introduction of The New Tax System in July 2000 contributed to the increase and decrease between early-1999 and late-2000. In 2006-07 the total number of dwelling unit approvals was 152,790.
New other residential building approvals
Other residential building refers to a building other than a house primarily used for long-term residential purposes and which contains (or has attached to it) more than one dwelling unit. This includes buildings such as blocks of flats, units and apartments, and semi-detached houses and townhouses.
In 2006-07 the number of approvals for new flats, units and apartments increased by 2.6%, from 23,924 to 24,541 (table 21.6).
In 2006-07 new semi-detached, row or terrace houses and townhouses approvals decreased for one storey dwellings (1.8%), while approvals for two or more storeys increased (by 5.4%). For new flat, unit or apartment building approvals, those with four or more storeys increased (by 11%), while those in a building of one, two and three storeys fell. Approvals for new flats, units or apartments accounted for 54% of total new other residential building approvals in 2006-07.
New residential building work done
Between 2005-06 and 2006-07 the value of total building work done (in volume terms) increased by $2,294m (3.9%) to $61,522m (table 21.7). Total new residential building increased from $31,280m to $31,478m, with new residential building for houses increasing by $1,149m or 5.5%.
The value of non-residential building work approved in 2005-06 rose 26% to $25,245m (table 21.8). Between 2004-05 and 2005-06 the types of non-residential buildings which experienced the largest relative increases in approvals were non-aged care medical services health facilities (143%), entertainment and recreation (61%), offices (55%), and educational buildings (41%). Those that experienced a decline in approvals were transport buildings (24%), accommodation (10%), agricultural and aquacultural buildings (2.3%), aged care facilities (1.5%) and factories and other secondary production buildings (0.9%).
The total value of non-residential building work done rose 18% to $23,625m in 2005-06. The largest percentage increases in value of non-residential work done were experienced by religious building work (47%), industrial warehouses (39%) and other non-residential n.e.c (26%). A decline in work done for non-residential building work occurred in factories and other secondary production buildings (6.3%).
The total value of engineering construction work done by the private sector and for the public sector between 1995-96 and 2005-06 is shown in graph 21.9. The value of public sector engineering construction work done (in volume terms) increased over the last year. Since around 2001-02 the value of engineering construction work done by the private sector has increased substantially and has been of greater value than work done for the public sector.
Table 21.10 shows the contribution of public and private sectors to engineering construction work done (in current prices). The private sector share of the total construction work done was 58% in 2004-05 and 61% in 2005-06.
Engineering construction for oil, gas, coal and other minerals mining accounted for 29% of the total value of construction work done in 2005-06, with total value for this construction increasing 94% between 2004-05 and 2005-06. The value of private sector construction activity for oil, gas, coal and other minerals almost doubled between 2004-05 and 2005-06 (from $6,425m to $12,281m). The private sector decreased its share of construction work done of roads, highways and subdivisions from 26% in 2004-05 to 21% in 2005-06. Total pipelines construction increased by 44% between 2004-05 and 2005-06, while total electricity generation, transmission and distribution construction increased by 21%.