New home building approvals break 32-year record

by Julia Corderoy05 May 2015
New home building approvals hit yet another all-time record high during March, according to the latest building approval statistics.

Total dwellings approved rose 2.8% over March, Australian Bureau of Statistics data revealed, and 23.6% over the 12 months to March, in seasonally adjusted terms. This represents the largest yearly result for the 32 year old series.

Growth was concentrated in the multi-unit segment of new home building, with a 5.3% increase occurring during the month. Detached house approvals rose by 0.5% during March.

Shane Garret, economist for the Housing Industry Association says home building has been buoyed by a range of factors, and it is important that this continues.

“New home building continues to benefit from the exceptionally low level of interest rates, as well as strong population growth over recent years in the key home buyer age group,” he said.

“New home building is keeping domestic demand above the waterline. Were it not for the performance of the residential construction industry, Australia’s economy would be in a far weaker state.”

During March 2015, seasonally-adjusted new dwelling approvals increased most strongly in Tasmania (42.3%), followed by South Australia (35.2%), Western Australia (18.9%) and Queensland (8.1%). 

The volume of new home approvals declined both in Victoria (-6%) and in NSW (-3.7%). In trend terms, both the Northern Territory (-14.6%) and the ACT (-3.8%) saw fewer dwelling approvals during March.