{{ propApi.closeIcon }}
Our industry
Our industry $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Economic research & forecasting Economics Housing outlook Economic reports & data Tailored market research 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 Planning & safety solutions Building & planning services How can safety solutions help you? Independent site inspections Solutions for your business Contracts Online HIA Tradepass HIA SafeScan Advertise jobs Trusted support & guidance Contracts & compliance support Professional services Industrial relations Member savings Toyota vehicles The Good Guys Commercial Fuel savings See all
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 Falls from heights Safety rules Working with silica See all Building your business Growing your business Maintaining your business See all Other subjects COVID-19 Getting approval to build Sustainable homes See all
Careers & learning
Careers & learning $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
A rewarding career Become an apprentice Apprenticeships on offer Frequently asked questions Study with us Find a course to suit you Qualification courses Learning on demand A job in the industry Get your builder's licence Continuing Professional Development (CPD) 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 2023 Australian Home of the Year Enter online Industry events Events in the next month Economic outlook National Conference Events calendar
HIA products
HIA products $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Shop @ HIA Digital Australian Standards Contracts Online Shipping & delivery Purchasing T&Cs See all Products Purchase NCC 2022 Building codes & standards Economic reports Hard copy contracts Guides & manuals
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

Latest data points to continuing weakness in new house approvals

Media release

Latest data points to continuing weakness in new house approvals

Media release
“Approvals for detached houses increased by 10.5 per cent in February 2024, offsetting the decline in January,” stated HIA Senior Economist Tom Devitt.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics today released its monthly building approvals data for February 2024 for detached houses and multi-units covering all states and territories.

“The last three months of detached house approvals remain down by 3.3 per cent on the same quarter a year earlier, and 37.9 per cent down from the peak three years ago,” added Mr Devitt.

“The bounce back in detached house approvals from January disguises the continuing weakness in Australia’s housing market.

“Recent leading indicators, such as new home sales, are still struggling to indicate any significant recovery in new home building. This is especially so in NSW and Victoria, where land costs are particularly burdensome for new home buyers.

“Demand for new housing has been falling since the RBA started increasing interest rates in May 2022.

“Multi-unit approvals also remain weak, down by 20.9 per cent in February to record its weakest month in over a decade. This leaves multi-unit approvals 20.4 per cent down on the same quarter last year and less than half the peak of the apartment boom almost a decade ago.

“Higher density housing development is being constrained by labour, material and finance costs and uncertainties, as well as cumbersome planning rules and punitive taxes, especially on foreign investors.

“This lack of new work entering the construction pipeline is occurring alongside record inflows of overseas migrants and a pre-existing acute shortage of rental accommodation across the country.

“It is possible to build the Australian Government’s target of 1.2 million homes over the next five years, but it would require significant policy reforms which include lowering taxes on home building, easing pressures on construction costs, and decreasing land costs,” concluded Mr Devitt.
In seasonally adjusted terms, dwelling approvals in the three months to February increased only in Western Australia, up by 36.6 per cent compared to the previous year. Other jurisdictions saw declines in approvals, led by Victoria (-14.7 per cent), followed by Tasmania (-14.3 per cent), New South Wales (-13.4 per cent), Queensland (-11.7 per cent) and South Australia (-10.6 per cent). In original terms, dwelling approvals declined in the Northern Territory (-45.0 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (-32.3 per cent).

Monthly Building Approvals - Australia

Source: ABS

For more information please contact:

Thomas Devitt

HIA Senior Economist

Tim Reardon

HIA Chief Economist
Latest articles
View all news $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
18 Apr
BASIX transition - Modified or incomplete contracts are ineligible

Building contracts that have been modified or have information missing may be ineligible for the BASIX Transition.

16 Apr
Sales of new homes weak for the start of 2024

“The prospect of a pick-up in home building activity in 2024 is not likely given the low volume of new homes sales in the first three months of 2024,” stated HIA Senior Economist, Tom Devitt.

15 Apr
NSW confirms transitional period for engineered stone ban

On 26 March, HIA advised members that NSW will be adopting a transitional period for the use of engineered stone to ensure businesses can fulfill existing contracts with less disruption and uncertainty. Today, HIA has received the formal confirmation from SafeWork NSW acknowledging the significant impact the ban will have on the operations of businesses HIA represents and the engineered stone industry more broadly.

15 Apr
NT commercial licencing is now law

On 15 April 2024, the NT Government will enact the Building Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 addressing commercial registration. The rollout will occur over two stages and contains a significant transition period allowing practitioners time to become registered.