Building approvals bring hope to housing supply shortage

by Julia Corderoy03 Oct 2014
New statistics reveal residential building is finally starting to take off, bringing hope to addressing Australia’s desperate need for more housing.

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, residential building approvals climbed for the second consecutive quarter in August. The total number of residential building approvals increased by 3% to 16,810 in the month. 

Approvals for detached houses inched back 1.4%, although housing lobby, the Housing Industry Association says that the number of approvals remains consistent with the level of activity observed throughout 2014. Victoria and Queensland both recorded increases in detached house approvals, while approval activity softened in the other states and territories. New South Wales recorded the most significant fall with approvals dropping by 10.7% in the month. 

Multi-unit dwelling approvals increased by 9.2% in August. Although, the results have been quite volatile. HIA says the uplift was a consequence of New South Wales, Victoria and ACT posting healthy rebounds from relatively weak levels in July. Elsewhere, approvals for multi-unit dwellings declined.

Geordan Murray, economist at HIA said that the figures indicate a very healthy start to the 2014/15 fiscal year.

“The number of approvals in August remained below the peak achieved in January this year. Nevertheless, August was a particularly strong month for residential building approvals,” he said.

“In the twelve months to August approvals reached 197,571 – a record high in any twelve month period. This result demonstrates that accommodative monetary policy settings are facilitating a sustained recovery in new home building.”