Total new dwelling approvals dropped over April, but detached house approvals have hit a much-needed five-year high, according to the latest official figures.
Detached house approvals rose by 4.7%, in seasonally-adjusted terms, to reach 10,264 during April, according to statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, representing the highest monthly total for detached house approvals since February 2010.
However, a weaker month for the multi-unit segment of the market actually drove total new dwelling approvals lower during April.
During April, total new dwelling approvals fell by 4.4% to 18,715, in seasonally-adjusted terms. The reduction was driven by the multi-unit segment, which recorded a 13.6% reduction over the month.
Despite the drop in total new dwelling approvals, Housing Industry Association senior economist Shane Garrett says the increase in detached house approvals is good news for home building recovery.
“Strengthening activity in detached house building is crucial to broadening the base of the new home building recovery which has been largely contained to the multi-unit market to date,” he said.
“It is important that policy settings allow the expansion in detached house building to deliver on its full economic potential.”
During April 2015, seasonally-adjusted new dwelling approvals only increased in Tasmania (29.8%). Approvals declined in all the other states, with the largest monthly reductions occurring in NSW (-14.6%), Queensland (-14.2%) and in South Australia (-10.3%). New dwelling approvals also declined in Western Australia (-3.0%) and in Victoria (-2.2%).