Building approvals rise 20.6% in May

Apartment approvals drive growth in May, ABS data shows

Building approvals rise 20.6% in May


By Mina Martin

The total number of dwellings approved jumped 20.6% in May, in seasonally adjusted terms, driven by a huge increase in apartment approvals, fresh ABS data showed.

The approvals growth in May, with 15,032 approvals, followed a 6.8% decline in April.

“The rise in total dwellings was driven by the more volatile ‘dwellings excluding houses’ series, which rose 59.4%,” said Daniel Rossi, ABS head of construction statistics. “This increase reflected a large number of apartment developments approved in New South Wales in May.”

Approvals for private sector houses saw a modest increase in May, lifting 0.9%, after a 3% fall in April.

Total dwelling approvals were a mixed bag across Australia. Increases were recorded in New South Wales (+52.9%), Tasmania (+41.1%), Victoria (+15%) and Queensland (+0.9%). Western Australia (-11.1%) and South Australia (-4.8%) posted decreases.

Approvals for private-sector houses were driven by a +7.3% rise in Victoria. Other states, meanwhile, record falls, with South Australia down -7.2%, Western Australia down -4.5%, NSW down -3.4%, and Queensland down -1.8%.

ABS data also showed an 11.1% increase in the value of total building approvals in May, following a 1.7% lift the prior month.

Residential building approvals posted a total 15.2% rise in value, consisting of a 17.1% rise in new residential building and a 4.3% rise in alterations and additions.

Approvals for non-residential buildings, meanwhile, saw its value hit the highest level since March 2021, climbing a further 6.6% in May, following a 10% rise in April.

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