October 2014 witnessed a strong recovery in new dwelling approvals following September’s disappointing show, according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA), the voice of Australia’s residential building industry. While most states registered strong growth in approvals for October, South Australia experienced a fall.

Total dwelling approvals rose by 11.4 per cent in seasonally-adjusted terms during October, with a total of 17,062 approvals being recorded during the month. The strong bounce was driven by the multi-unit segment, with a monthly increase of some 30.4 per cent. Detached dwelling approvals eased slightly by 0.3 per cent during the month. In the year to October 2014, there were a total of 197,530 new dwelling approvals, 14.8 per cent higher than the previous twelve-month period.

According to HIA Senior Economist, Shane Garrett, these strong figures indicate the home building recovery has still not run its course. He however, attributes the volatility in recent months to significant swings in medium and high-density approvals.

Shane Garrett explains that Australia needs to have a minimum of 180,000 new dwelling commencements per year over the long term; it is, therefore, very important that all supply constraints are addressed to ensure commencements in excess of this benchmark.

During October 2014, seasonally-adjusted new dwelling approvals increased most strongly in Victoria (+27.6 per cent), followed by Tasmania (+9.6 per cent) and New South Wales (+5.9 per cent). Growth was also recorded in Queensland (+3.4 per cent) and Western Australia (+2.5 per cent). South Australia was the only state to see a reduction in new dwelling approvals during October, down by 3.5 per cent. In trend terms, new dwelling approvals increased in the ACT (+0.5 per cent) but declined in the Northern Territory (-1.3 per cent).