26 Sep 2013

Pickup in building consents issuance in Canterbury

7:12 pm on 26 September 2013

A pickup in building consents issuance in Canterbury indicates there could be a rebound in construction work in the second half of this year.

The ASB Bank's monthly Cantometer measures about 17 different statistics in five indices, including construction, migration and employment.

The index, which was set to zero in June 2010, was steady at 1.0 in September.

Residential and non-residential consent issuance has picked up, but there was a dip in construction activity in the June quarter.

ASB bank's senior economist Jane Turner says there are some encouraging signs that could change.

She says the question is whether supply will be able to keep up with demand.

Loan restrictions could hamper Canterbury rebuild - survey

The survey has highlighted a risk that the imminent restrictions on bank lending imposed by the Reserve Bank could hinder growth in the region.

From next month, no more than 10% of banks' total mortgage lending can be to people with less than a 20% deposit.

Ms Turner says that move could lead to building consents dropping off.

She says there is the potential for the Reserve Bank restrictions on high loan to value lending to impact on some of the rebuilding in Canterbury.

However, Ms Turner says it is difficult to know the exact numbers.

She says the number of consents issued picked up but then levelled off recently.

"There is a risk that the high LVR lending restrictions might limit the amount of growth and cause some difficulties with the rebuild."