Dwelling approvals rise for 8th month running

by Miklos Bolza03 Nov 2017
The number of dwelling approvals rose by 1.8% during the month of September, the eighth concurrent month of increases, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The latest ABS data released yesterday (2 November) showed approvals increasing in trend terms across all states and territories except Queensland:
  • Australian Capital Territory (+7.9%)
  • Northern Territory (+6.5%)
  • Tasmania (+4.5%)
  • New South Wales (+3.4%)
  • Western Australia (+2.0%)
  • South Australia (+1.5%)
  • Victoria (+0.7%)
  • Queensland (-0.5%)
Approvals for private sector houses rose by 0.7% in trend terms over September. These rose in Queensland, SA, Victoria and NSW while falling in WA.

In seasonally adjusted terms, total building approvals increased by 1.5% in September. Private housing approvals rose by 0.6% while approvals for private dwellings excluding houses increased by 2.6% during that same month.

The value of total building approvals went up by 1.3% during September in trend terms, marking a nine month run of increases. Residential building values rose by 1.5% while non-residential building values rose 1.0%.

“The value of non-residential building approvals have risen for the past eight months, in trend terms, reaching a record high in September 2017,” said Bill Becker, assistant director of construction statistics at the ABS.

“The strength in non-residential building has been driven by approvals in Victoria, where a number of office and education buildings have been approved in recent months.”

Shane Garrett, senior economist at the Housing Industry Association (HIA), said that these figures were quite favourable considering the wider trends over the quarter.

“Activity on the apartment side of the market has come under considerable pressure due to a number of obstacles being put in the way of foreign investors in residential property. Today’s figures do indicate that home building is receiving some support from the strong pace of job creation in several key markets.”

He predicted that home building activity would trend downwards over the next year or so, eventually bottoming out in 2019.

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