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$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Building approvals remained elevated in September

Media release

Building approvals remained elevated in September

Media release
“Detached building approvals continue to suggest there is still strong demand for housing six months after the HomeBuilder stimulus ended in March,” stated HIA Economist Tom Devitt.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics today released its monthly building approvals data for detached and multi-units data covering all states and territories.
“Detached building approvals in the three months to September 2021 remain up by 15.5 per cent on the same quarter in 2020 and 32.2 per cent up on the same time in 2019,” added Mr Devitt.

“This will continue to support a healthy pipeline of on-the-ground home building work to the end of next year.

“Leading indicators, including HIA’s New Home Sales data, suggest that the detached market remains robust despite lockdowns. Sales in the three months to September 2021 were not as high as they were a year earlier, when HomeBuilder was gaining momentum, but are still 7.4 per cent higher than at the same time in 2019 and 0.6 per cent higher than the same time in 2018.

“These sales will flow through to approvals data in the coming months and will continue to create employment opportunities into the second half of 2022.

“Approvals for multi-units also strengthened in September. The last three months are now 34.3 per cent up on a year earlier, reflecting an improved trend in 2021.

“Apartment approvals have been improving over the last year or so, led by New South Wales and, to a lesser extent, Queensland and Western Australia. This suggests investors are looking through the haze of the pandemic to a brighter outlook on the other side.

“There has also been increased activity in medium density housing, suggesting this market is also enjoying some of the shift in preferences towards lower density housing. Strong growth in detached house prices may also be adding to the popularity of medium density living.

“Approvals for renovations also remain elevated. Despite a slight decline in September, the value of these approvals is still up by 10.6 per cent on September 2020, and the last 12 months is still up by 37.5 per cent on the previous year.

“In addition to HomeBuilder, this has been driven by shifts in spending from services like travel, entertainment and dining out, towards housing.

“With Australians spending more time at home and accumulating a significant amount of savings, an increase in demand for larger living spaces is unsurprising,” concluded Mr Devitt.

In seasonally adjusted terms, total residential building approvals increased in the three months to September 2021 compared to the same time last year in almost all jurisdictions. New South Wales led the pack (+38.5 per cent), followed by South Australia (+30.5 per cent), Western Australia (+28.6 per cent), Queensland (+22.7 per cent), Victoria (+9.7 per cent), and Tasmania (-11.3 per cent). In original terms, building approvals increased in the Australian Capital Territory (+9.3 per cent) and declined in the Northern Territory (-31.7 per cent).

Monthly building approvals - Australia

For more information:

Thomas Devitt

Economist

Tim Reardon

Chief Economist
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