The number of dwellings approved fell by 0.1% in April, according to the latest data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Tasmania saw the biggest fall in approvals, by 3.7%, Victoria followed with a 2.3% drop and then Western Australia with 2.2%.
The state with the highest rise in approvals was the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) with a 14.8% hike since the previous month. The Northern Territory (NT) saw approvals rise by 6.7%, South Australia by 1.7%, NSW by 0.9% and Queensland by 0.7%.
In seasonally adjusted terms, total dwellings fell by 5% in April, driven by a 11.5% decrease in private sector dwellings, excluding houses. Private sector houses rose 0.1% in seasonally adjusted terms.
The value of total building approved fell 0.7% in April, in trend terms, and has fallen for six months. The value of residential building fell 0.5% while non-residential building fell 1%.
NSW saw a huge drop in the value of non-residential building, a drop of 31%.
According to the Urban Taskforce this is cause for concern in relation to the jobs which flow from construction.
Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson, said, “There are concerns that the current slow-down in the sales of homes, particularly for pre-sales for apartments, could mean some projects will be delayed therefore reducing the job potential from residential construction. It is also clear that housing sales are slowing with the recent announcement by the NSW Treasurer of a drop in sales tax returns to the state government from the sale of new and existing homes.
“The NSW Government will need to carefully watch the slowing amount of activity in the building construction sector that will impact on the 400,000 jobs currently generated by the sector. There are a number of levies applied by the state government and by councils that are impacting on the cost of housing that could be modified to help boost the supply of much needed housing particularly in Sydney."
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