FOLLOWING an upwardly revised increase of 8.9 per cent in February, the total number of new dwellings approved in March decreased by 13.4 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms, according to the latest figures released last week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
A total of 16,484 dwellings were approved in March, compared to seasonally adjusted totals of 19,042 in February and 17,484 in January. When compared to the same month in 2016, the number of dwellings approved in March 2017 was down by 19.9 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms.
In seasonally adjusted terms, dwelling approvals for the month of March increased only in Tasmania (up 13.4 per cent to 190 dwellings) and South Australia (up 0.3 per cent to 876).
Dwelling approvals decreased in Victoria (down 1.0 per cent to 5,443 dwellings), Western Australia (down 1.8 per cent to 1,587), Queensland (down 21.3 per cent to 2,853) and New South Wales (down 25.8 per cent to 5,089).
In seasonally adjusted terms, 8,942 private sector houses were approved in March, compared to 9,347 in February (a decrease of 4.3 per cent). A total of 7,289 private sector dwellings excluding houses were approved in March, which was a 22.5 per cent increase when compared to February's result of 9,410.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of the value of total building approved fell 15.5 per cent in March following a rise of 22.6 per cent in the previous month. The value of residential building fell 20.8 per cent after rising for four months. The value of non-residential building fell 4.5 per cent following a rise of 36.1 per cent in the previous month.