Big states see big declines in home building

Adam Smith 3 November 2016

building houseResidential building has seen a sharp drop-off in September, new figures show.

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show total dwelling approvals fell by 8.7% during September. The largest states have seen the sharpest declines in approvals. Victorian residential building approvals fell 15.6%, while approvals were down 13.3% in New South Wales and 11.7% in Queensland. Approvals were up by 9.4% in South Australia, and rose 5.5% in Western Australia.

The fall in approvals was largely driven by a decline in apartment building, Housing Industry Association senior economist Shane Garrett said.

High-rises dominate unit market

“During the month, a total of 18,945 approvals were recorded. Detached house approvals actually increased by 1.7% during the month, while multi-unit approvals were down by some 17.5% in month-on-month terms,” Garrett said.

In spite of the decline, Garrett said the volume of multi-unit approvals remained high by historical standards.

“This means that the immediate pipeline of work will remain very elevated on the apartment side,” he said.

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