New home starts reach all-time high

by Julia Corderoy16 Jan 2015
More residential dwellings commenced construction in the September 2014 quarter than any other quarter since the mid-1980’s, according to the latest building activity figures.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released data showing  construction of detached houses increased by 1.3% in the September quarter, while the construction of other residential buildings – which includes apartments and townhouses – surged by 32.8% over the quarter. In aggregate, the total number of residential dwelling commencements increased by 12.5%.

Shane Garrett, senior economist at the Housing Industry Association, says the figures confirm some very positive news for the housing market, although they are not surprising. 

“This result confirms that residential building activity was tracking along at a very strong level during 2014. However, part of the particularly strong September quarter result can be attributed to a ‘catch-up’ after the rather disappointing result in the June quarter when the number of starts fell well short of expectations,” he said.

“Following the surge in residential buildings approved in late 2013 and early 2014, there was a substantial accumulation of multi-unit residential building projects that had obtained approval but did not commence construction in the first half of the year. The figures released today confirm that much of the activity in the pipeline entered the construction phase in the September quarter.”

The figures also revealed that new home starts increased in all states except for South Australia, where activity fell by 5.7%. New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, the four largest states, all recorded their strongest quarters on record for multi-unit dwelling commencements.
 

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