Residential building approvals have rebounded in April, driven by a resurgence in multi-unit dwelling approvals.
Having shown signs of easing in late 2015 and during the first three months of 2016, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that residential building approvals increased by 3% in April, once again exceeding a monthly total of 20,000.
The comeback was propelled by approvals for multi-unit dwellings, which were up 8.1% over the month.
HIA Economist, Geordan Murray, said this surge was concentrated across Australia’s east coast.
“The growth in multi-unit approvals was driven by the eastern sea-board states, where we saw multi-unit approvals jump by 20% in Queensland, 19% in New South Wales, and 7% in Victoria. South Australia also posted an increase of 3%.”
Approvals for detached houses declined by 2% in the month. There were a total of 9,695 detached houses approved, which Murray said is still on par with the monthly average over the last couple of years.
“In contrast to the situation with multi-unit approvals, the number of detached house approvals fell across the eastern sea-board states while all other states and territories posted improvements. It’s pleasing to see the likes of South Australia post the strongest month of detached house approvals in more than two years.
“Today’s strong result goes against the easing trend that we’ve observed over the last six months.
We maintain our view that the level of new home building activity in to 2016 is likely to be lower than we saw during 2015, however this result suggests the 2016 level may be closer to the peak than initially expected.”