2015 was the strongest year ever for new home building approvals, official figures have revealed.
According to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) a total of 232,078 new homes received approval for construction. This is 13.7% higher than and is more than every calendar year on record.
However, Housing Industry Association senior economist Shane Garrett pointed out that the expansion during 2015 was not balanced across the market segments.
“While multi-unit approvals saw growth of 30.2%, detached house approvals inched up by just 1% over the year,” Garrett said.
A closer look at the data also reveals that a housing downturn is on the way.
“Today’s data are proof of an exceptional 2015. More importantly, they add to the body of evidence pointing to the start of a downturn in activity. During the December 2015 quarter, total approvals fell by 4% compared with the previous three month period and multi-units accounted for a disproportionate share of the decline,” Garrett said.
During December 2015, total seasonally adjusted new home building approvals saw the largest increase in Victoria (37.4%), followed by Western Australia (8.6%) and New South Wales (2.1%).
The largest decline affected South Australia (-8.6%), with approvals also falling in Tasmania (-5%) and Queensland (-4.6%).