Australia

Dwelling approvals fall 2.5 per cent in June 2012

THE number of dwellings approved fell 2.5 per cent in June 2012, in seasonally adjusted terms, following a rise of 27.0 per cent in the previous month, according to the latest building approval figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) last week.

Dwelling approvals decreased for the month of June in Victoria (-14.6 per cent) but increased in Western Australia (28.9 per cent), Queensland (18.0 per cent), Tasmania (9.2 per cent), New South Wales (7.7 per cent) and South Australia (4.1 per cent), in seasonally adjusted terms.

In seasonally adjusted terms, approvals for private sector houses fell 1.1 per cent in June. Private sector house approvals fell in New South Wales (-4.5 per cent) and Victoria (-3.3 per cent) but rose in Queensland (5.3 per cent), Western Australia (4.4 per cent) and South Australia (0.4 per cent).

The value of total building approved fell 9.8 per cent in June, in seasonally adjusted terms, after rising for 2 months. The value of residential building rose 0.2 per cent while non-residential building fell 22.3 per cent.

Housing Industry Association, Chief Economist, Harley Dale, called the figures a reasonable result and said it reflects the sharp decline now underway in Victoria, with building approvals increasing in June in every other state and territory.

"Building approvals increased in the June 2012 quarter and this improvement is driven by a relatively healthy rebound in 'other dwellings'," Mr Dale said.

"The concerning factor is that this recovery masks on-going deterioration in the core detached house segment of the new home building market," he said, adding that housing starts are back at recessionary levels.

"That situation makes the case for government investment in new housing and reform of the excessive and inefficient levels of taxation on the sector all the more compelling," Mr Dale said.

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