FOLLOWING a downwardly revised decrease of 8.1 per cent in August, the number of new dwellings approved in September increased by 2.2 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms, according to the latest figures released last week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
A total of 18,900 dwellings were approved in September, compared to seasonally adjusted totals of 18,501 in August and 20,432 in July. When compared to the same month last year, the number of dwellings approved in September 2015 was up by 21.4 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms.
In seasonally adjusted terms, dwelling approvals for the month of September increased in Queensland (up 41.6 per cent to 5,168 dwellings), Tasmania (up 31.6 per cent to 287) and Victoria (up 6.9 per cent to 5,509).
Dwelling approvals decreased in Western Australia (down 8.9 per cent to 2,221 dwellings), South Australia (down 14.9 per cent to 848) and New South Wales (down 16.6 per cent to 4,382), in seasonally adjusted terms.
In seasonally adjusted terms, 9,536 private sector houses were approved in September, compared to 9,719 in August (a decrease of 1.9 per cent). A total of 9,134 private sector dwellings excluding houses were approved in September, which was a 6.1 per cent increase when compared to August's result of 8,612.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of the value of total building approved fell 2.1 per cent in September and has fallen for two months. The value of residential building fell 4.3 per cent and has fallen for two months. The value of non-residential building rose 2.9 per cent following a fall of 9.5 per cent in the previous month.
The Housing Industry Association (HIA) that while building approvals continue to flow through at a historically high level, the strong upward momentum in multi-unit approvals that characterised the earlier part of the cycle has dissipated.
"Around the nation, there was a total of 9,300 'other dwellings' (predominantly multi-unit) approved during September. While this equates to a 6.1 per cent increase in approvals during the month, the level was still well below the high water mark set earlier in the year," said HIA Economist, Geordan Murray.
"Approvals for dwellings in multi-unit developments continued to demonstrate a high degree of volatility, particularly at the state level. There were large fluctuations in a number of states, most notably in Queensland where multi-unit approvals jumped by more than 80 per cent.
"The increase in multi-unit approvals was balanced by a modest decline of 1.9 per cent in detached house approvals. There were a total of 9,600 new detached houses approved during September, which is consistent with the level we have seen each month since the beginning of 2014," Mr Murray said.