Australia

Dwelling approvals increase by 3.9 per cent in October

FOLLOWING an upwardly revised increase of 2.3 per cent in September, the number of new dwellings approved in October increased by 3.9 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms, according to the latest figures released this month by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

A total of 19,652 dwellings were approved in October, compared to seasonally adjusted totals of 18,918 in September and 18,499 in August. When compared to the same month last year, the number of dwellings approved in October 2015 was up by 12.3 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms.

New House
Above: New House / by Alexander Kesselaar.

In seasonally adjusted terms, dwelling approvals for the month of October increased in South Australia (up 23.4 per cent to 1,082 dwellings), New South Wales (up 22.0 per cent to 5,335) and Victoria (up 21.2 per cent to 6,701).

Dwelling approvals decreased in Western Australia (down 1.1 per cent to 2,205 dwellings), Queensland (down 28.7 per cent to 3,679) and Tasmania (down 41.6 per cent to 160), in seasonally adjusted terms.

In seasonally adjusted terms, 9,349 private sector houses were approved in October, compared to 9,547 in September (a decrease of 2.1 per cent). A total of 10,091 private sector dwellings excluding houses were approved in October, which was a 10.6 per cent increase when compared to September's result of 9,121.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of the value of total building approved rose 6.4 per cent in October after falling for two months. The value of residential building rose 9.8 per cent after falling for two months. The value of non-residential building fell 1.0 per cent and has fallen for three months.

"Bolstered by a 3.9 per cent rise in October, the number of dwelling approvals remains at record highs with the strong pipeline of work to keep builders busy well into 2016," said Chief Economist of Master Builders Australia, Peter Jones.

"Master Builders expects the high level of approvals to translate into 220,000 starts this financial year taking the cumulative total to more than 600,000 in three years, for an increase of 30 per cent on the previous three years.

"The surge in new supply coming on stream will work to eat into the large housing shortage accrued in the previous decade due to underbuilding. The unfortunate reality however is that even more supply is needed to address the nation's supply demand imbalance and improve housing affordability.

"Despite the current cyclical rebound in new dwelling construction, supply side reform must be front and centre of the policy agenda. In that respect, Master Builders welcomes Treasurer Scott Morrison's support for the Government's National Competition Policy reforms, particularly in the areas of regulation and planning and zoning," Mr Jones concluded.

More information is available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics website at <http://www.abs.gov.au/>.

Photo: 'New House Lock Up HDR' / Alexander Kesselaar / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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