The Housing Industry Association (HIA), which represents Australia’s
residential building industry, reveals a rebound in residential building
approvals in May after a lacklustre performance in the preceding months.
ABS data indicates there were 16,425 dwellings approved in May, an
increase of 9.9 per cent during the month. These figures are closer to the peak
levels seen in the end-2013 - January 2014 period.
According to HIA Economist Geordan Murray, declining approval numbers during
the February-April period following the peak in January this year had raised
doubts about the longevity of the home building recovery. However, the May
results indicate the recovery will continue for the rest of the year.
Over 17,700 dwelling approvals were recorded in January reaching a peak
with the five largest states all recording strong approval numbers at the same
time. The slowdown in the three months following January was caused by the
characteristic volatility in multi-unit approvals but the volume of approvals
still points to a very strong level of new home building activity throughout
Geordan Murray observes that the housing recovery, which was initially
confined to New South Wales and Western Australia, appears to be gaining
broader momentum in all jurisdictions with the exception of ACT.
Volume of detached dwelling approvals was steady at 9,426, up by 0.6 per
cent in May. There were 6,998 multi-unit dwellings approved, which represents
an increase of 25.5 per cent in the month and mainly driven by a rebound in
multi-unit approvals in NSW (up by 47 per cent) and Queensland (up by 150 per
cent). All other major markets recorded falls in multi-unit approvals in May, especially
in Victoria, which declined by 19 per cent.
Total building approvals in seasonally adjusted terms increased in May
2014 in New South Wales (+18.7 per cent), Queensland (+45.0 per cent), Western
Australia (+0.4 per cent), and Tasmania (+9.8 per cent) but declined in
Victoria (-8.5 per cent), and South Australia (-6.7 per cent). In trend terms,
building approvals increased by 8.7 per cent in the Northern Territory but fell
by 9.6 per cent in the ACT.