Building approvals slump in October

Peter Terlato 30 November 2016

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Further declines nationwide, except in the ACT.

The total number of dwelling approvals fell 3.3% in October, continuing a five-month downward trend, according to the latest data.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports building approvals decreased in South Australia (-4.6%), New South Wales (-3.8%), Queensland (-3.6%), Victoria (-3.3%), Western Australia (-3%), Tasmania (-2.6%) and the Northern Territory (-0.2%).

The only state or territory where approvals rose was the Australian Capital Territory (4.5%).

The decrease in dwelling approvals matched the fall in approvals for private sector houses, down 0.6% month-on-month in October.

The value of total buildings approved fell 1.7% in October, the third straight month in decline, supporting forecasts of a drop in new home builds.

Residential building values fell 3.6% in October, while non-residential values fell 0.8% month-on-month.

This week, the Housing Industry Australia (HIA) reported new home sales fell 8.5% during October. The fall took sales to their lowest volume since July 2014.

Although the latest figures from the ABS show a meager rise in owner occupied lending, HIA economist Geordan Murray said Australians "can expect an uplift in this area over the year ahead" as new homes currently under construction reach completion and off-the-plan purchases by investors reach settlement.

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