Building approvals taper off

by Julia Corderoy01 Aug 2014
New home approvals declined by 5% in June, after an increase in the previous month, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

Approvals for detached houses fell by 2.2% while private multi-unit approvals fell by 10.5% during the month of June. However, total approvals were 16% higher than this time last year. 

HIA senior economist Shane Garrett said it is likely that the property market has seen its peak in residential building approvals. Unfortunately, this peak has come and gone too soon.

“Despite Australia’s inadequate supply of housing, it appears that the ‘usual suspects’ have brought the upturn in activity to a halt. These include factors like slow land release and barriers to the development of residential land,” Garrett said.

"NIMBY-ism", has become an irritating cultural barrier to the development of residential land, Garrett suggested. HIA’s Building Better Cities Summit last week argued that NIMBY-ism has become catered for too much by regulatory aspects of development. However, Garrett is remaining positive.

“With interest rates at historic lows, the window of opportunity remains open for the supply of affordable housing to be significantly augmented in the near future. A greater push on this front by policymakers could ensure that the housing prospects for this generation of Australians are greatly enhanced,” he said.