Dwelling approvals rise in November 2011 following two months of falls

THE number of dwellings approved in November 2011 increased by 8.4 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms, following a revised fall of 10.0 per cent in October, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The latest ABS Building Approvals data for November 2011 reveals that dwelling approvals increased for the month of November in Victoria (39.9 per cent), Queensland (6.6 per cent) and New South Wales (2.0 per cent), in seasonally adjusted terms.

However, Western Australia (-16.9 per cent), Tasmania (-7.9 per cent) and South Australia (-1.9 per cent) all recorded declines in dwelling approvals in seasonally adjusted terms.

In seasonally adjusted terms, approvals for private sector houses rose 4.8 per cent in November with rises in Victoria (13.0 per cent), Queensland (10.8 per cent), South Australia (2.3 per cent) and New South Wales (0.3 per cent), while Western Australia fell (4.9 per cent).

In November, the value of total building approved decreased 2.6 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms, following a decrease of 2.0 per cent in October. The value of residential building fell 2.7 per cent while non-residential building fell 2.5 per cent.

While increases in approvals were recorded for both detached houses and other dwellings in November 2011, HIA Senior Economist, Andrew Harvey, said the results come off a low base and that total approvals remain significantly down on a year earlier.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cut interest rates in November but Mr Harvey said further rate cuts are "absolutely essential" to boost homebuyer confidence.

Master Builders Australia echoed the call for further rate cuts, with Chief Economist, Peter Jones, stating that despite the increase, the number of dwelling approvals is still down by nearly 20 per cent on a year ago.

"Builders are reporting falling sales and forward orders as consumer caution, European economic woes and difficulties accessing finance work against any recovery," Mr Jones said.

"With the immediate challenge to restore confidence and drive a private sector recovery, the building industry is banking on further rate cuts to help boost confidence and stabilise an uncertain market."

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