Home building still trending downwards

Adam Smith 3 August 2016

house jengaNew home approvals have fallen for the second consecutive month.

Figures from the Housing Industry Association (HIA) show new dwelling approvals continue to decline from record highs. Total new dwelling approvals fell 2.9% for the month, with a 2.4% decline for detached housing approvals and a 3.4% fall for multi-unit approvals.

HIA senior economist Shane Garrett said the figures demonstrate a continued easing from record highs for approvals reached last year.

“Approvals on both the detached house and multi-unit side peaked in mid-2015. Since then, detached house approvals have glided lower in an orderly manner. Multi-unit approvals have continued to be resilient, although sit at levels slightly lower than a year ago,” Garrett said.

Garrett said the pipeline of new home building remained solid, but would continue to ease in the months ahead. The view stands in contrast to a forecast by BIS Shrapnel, which predicted approvals could plummet.

“We expect the trajectory of new dwelling approvals to continue retreating at a modest pace over coming months,” he said.

Garrett pointed to a wide variation in approvals from state to state. New dwelling approvals saw strong rises in South Australia and Victoria, up 12.4% and 4.1%, respectively. Approvals were also up in Western Australia (2.5%) and the Northern Territory (4.2%). Tasmania, meanwhile, saw approvals plummet by 23.9%. Approvals also fell in New South Wales (-4.0%), Queensland (-2.1%) and the ACT (-2.7%).

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