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The Australian Bureau of Statistics today released its monthly building approvals data for February for detached houses and multi-units covering all states and territories.
“As expected, detached building approvals increased by 15.6 per cent and multi-units by 104.8 per cent,” added Mr Devitt.
“Approvals were held back in January by the Omicron outbreak and a higher than usual uptake of holiday leave. The absence of Council workers, private certifiers and building business staff weighed on the ability to process approvals.
“February’s data illustrates that the approvals for detached homes remain above pre-pandemic levels.
“Approvals of multi-units in February represented the second strongest month since June 2018. Affordability issues, land constraints and a return to the city is seeing increased demand for units, townhouses and apartments.
“It is also an encouraging sign that apartment construction will return prior to the return of overseas migration.
“The value of renovations approved also remains elevated. The last 12 months has seen the value of renovations approved increase by 44.4 per cent on the year before the pandemic.
“This elevated level housing demand will keep builders busy this year and well into next year, limited by the availability of land, labour and materials,” concluded Mr Devitt.
In seasonally adjusted terms, total residential building approvals decreased in the last three months compared to the previous quarter in Western Australia (-20.8 per cent), Queensland (-9.4 per cent), South Australia (-3.6 per cent), and New South Wales (-0.1 per cent), while increasing in Victoria (+1.0 per cent). In original terms, approvals increased in the Northern Territory (+18.7 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (+8.1 per cent) and decreased in Tasmania (-3.7 per cent).
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The Liberal Party’s announcement today that if re-elected they will allow Australians to access up to $50,000 from their superannuation to fund a deposit to help them buy their first home is a welcome one, and an initiative that HIA has championed.
Western Australia is one of just two states to see an increase in new home sales in April, recording a significant increase in the amount of new activity from the same period prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Housing Industry Association (HIA) has welcomed the ongoing support for Western Australia’s residential building industry in the 2022-2023 State Budget, including a number of targeted initiatives aimed at attracting more skilled workers into the state amid record high levels of detached construction.