Australia

February dwelling approvals fall

FOR the second month in a row, the seasonally adjusted estimate for total dwelling units approved fell 3.3% for the month of February, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The seasonally adjusted estimate for private sector houses approved fell 0.9% (to 9,711) following rises in the previous two months, whilst the seasonally adjusted estimate for private sector other dwellings (apartments and semi-detached housing) approved fell 10.9% (to 2,698) and has fallen for two months.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of total building approved fell 4.5% in February. The seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of new residential building approved increased 0.5%, while the value of approved residential alterations and additions increased 6.2%. The seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of non-residential building fell 13.0%.

South Australia (-23.3%), New South Wales (-14.6%) and Victoria (-1.9%) all experienced declines in the seasonally adjusted number of dwellings approved. Tasmania (+17.3%), Western Australia (+8.1%) and Queensland (+2.1%) saw seasonally adjusted dwelling approvals rise.

The ABS also reported on residential floor areas and found that there has been a steady increase in the average floor area of new residential dwellings over 24 financial years to June 2009. The average floor area of all new residential dwellings increased from 149.7 square metres to 218.9 square metres. New houses increased from 162.4 to 248.0 square metres (a 52.7% increase), while new other residential dwellings increased from 99.2 to 140.8 square metres (a 42.0% increase).

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