Housing approvals for the construction of new homes recorded the second strongest month ever in February, according to official figures.
Despite approvals dropping 3.2% from January, the figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that new dwelling approvals in February recorded their second highest result in the 32-year history of the data series.
During February, new dwelling approvals totalled 18,768 in seasonally-adjusted terms. Detached house approvals inched up by 0.2%, while there was a 6.6% reduction in multi-unit approvals. In the year to February 2015, new dwelling approvals totalled 205,796.
“This is another very strong result for Australia’s national new home building sector,” Housing Industry Association senior economist, Shane Garrett said.
“At a time of weak overall domestic demand, new residential construction is acting as a welcome pillar of support. A steady pipeline of new homes represents the most effective solution to alleviating housing affordability pressures.”
New dwelling approvals increased most strongly in Victoria (20.5%), followed by NSW (13.5%) and Tasmania (4%). Three states saw reduced new dwelling approvals during February, including Western Australia (-8%) and Queensland (-30.6%). A particularly severe reduction occurred in South Australia (-41.4%).