{{ propApi.closeIcon }}
Our industry
Our industry $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Housing industry insights Economics Insights Data & forecasts Tailored research and analysis Advocacy & policy Advocacy Policy priorities Position statements Submissions News and inspiration Industry news Member alerts Media releases HOUSING Online
Business support
Business support $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Become an apprentice host Hire an apprentice Why host a HIA apprentice? Apprentice partner program Builder & manufacturer program Industry insurance Construction legal expenses insurance Construction works insurance Home warranty insurance Tradies & tool insurance Member perks Toyota vehicles The Good Guys Commercial Fuel savings See all Planning & safety solutions Building & planning services Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) Solutions for your business Contracts Online Advertise jobs Trusted support & guidance Contracts & compliance support Industrial relations
Resources & advice
Resources & advice $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Building it right Building codes Australian standards Getting it right on site See all Building materials & products Concrete, bricks & walls Getting products approved Use the right products for the job See all Managing your business Dealing with contracts Handling disputes Managing your employees See all Managing your safety Safety rules Working with silica See all Building your business Growing your business Maintaining your business See all Other subjects Getting approval to build Sustainable homes See all
Careers & learning
Careers & learning $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
A rewarding career Become an apprentice Apprenticeships on offer How do I apply? Frequently asked questions Study with us Find a course to suit you Qualification courses Learning on demand Professional development courses A job in the industry Get your builder's licence Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Further your career Find jobs
HIA community
HIA community $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Join HIA Sign me up How do I become a member? What's in it for me? Mates rates Get involved Become an award judge Join a committee Partner with us Our initiatives HIA Building Women GreenSmart Kitchen, bathroom and design hub Get to know us Our members Our people Our partners Support for you Charitable Foundation Mental health program
Awards & events
Awards & events $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Awards program People & Business Awards GreenSmart Australian Housing Awards Awards winners Regional Award winners Australian Housing Award winners 2024 Australian Home of the Year Enter online Industry events Events in the next month Economic outlook National Conference Events calendar
HIA shop
HIA shop $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Most popular products National Construction Code Vol 1 & 2 Waterproofing wet areas AS 3740:2021 HIA Guide to Waterproofing HIA Guide to NCC Livable Housing Provisions Top categories Building codes & standards Contracts & documents Guides & manuals Safety documents Signage For your business Contracts Online Digital Australian Standards Digital Resource Library Forecasts & data
About Contact Newsroom
$vuetify.icons.faMapMarker Set my location Use the field below to update your location
Change location
{{propApi.text}} {{region}} Change location
{{propApi.successMessage}} {{region}} Change location

$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Comeback kid

{{ tag.label }} {{ tag.label }} $vuetify.icons.faTimes
2019 was a challenging year for home builders but indicators show things may be looking up as we head into the new decade.

HIA content team


2019 was a bumpy year for the Australian building and construction industry with approvals down by nearly 20 per cent compared to 2018, but newly released data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows the end of the decade closed on a high note.

The ABS released its monthly building approvals data for the end of last year in early February covering all states and territories, with approvals presenting mostly positive results across the nation.

‘The start of 2019 was tough for the residential building industry with the credit squeeze, falling house prices and uncertainty surrounding the federal election putting a dampener on confidence,’ says HIA Economist, Angela Lillicrap.

‘The market did improve in the final months of 2019, suggesting that the building industry will not continue to constrain economic growth in 2020.’ 

New home building stabilised at relatively strong levels. Detached house approvals have a three-month annualised level of 101,240 approvals, a very robust level according to HIA Economists, and similar to building volumes in 2018.

‘Multi-unit approvals have been leading the declines and are 25.0 per cent lower than they were in 2018,’ Angela says. ‘Continued growth in house prices will assist in bringing investors back to the market as well as support an increase in activity across the broader economy.’

Angela adds it is unlikely the same boom of investment as experienced in the previous cycle will occur due to restrictions on foreign investors.

‘Constraints on access to credit will continue to be the biggest impediment to future growth in building approvals,’ she says.

In seasonally adjusted terms, building approvals for the December 2019 quarter increased in Victoria by more than 26.7 per cent and by more than 6.9 per cent in South Australia.

New South Wales and the Northern Territory both saw similar numbers of around 1.5 per cent, while the remaining states and territories saw declining approvals.

Tasmania just dipped into negative figures at -0.8 per cent but Western Australia experienced the lowest rate at -6.8 per cent.