The Housing Industry Association (HIA), the voice of Australia’s
residential building industry has noted the strong performance of new dwelling
approvals in February 2015. Figures released by the Australian Bureau of
Statistics show new dwelling approvals remained at a high level during the
month following a record performance in January.
HIA Senior Economist Shane Garrett observed that it was yet another very
strong result for Australia’s national new home building sector with new
dwelling approvals in January having reached their highest level on record.
February results show that the activity continues to be at exceptionally high
levels, with a solid pipeline of activity set to remain in play over the coming
During February 2015, new dwelling approvals totalled 18,768 in
seasonally-adjusted terms, 3.2 per cent lower than in January. Detached house
approvals inched up by 0.2 per cent, while there was a 6.6 per cent reduction
in multi-unit approvals compared to January figures. Despite the reduction, new
dwelling approvals in February recorded their second highest result in the
32-year history of the data series. In the year to February 2015, new dwelling
approvals totalled 205,796.
According to Shane Garrett, new residential construction is supporting
the industry at a time of weak overall domestic demand. Observing that a steady
pipeline of new homes represented the most effective solution to alleviating
housing affordability pressures, he added that Governments at all levels must
work to ensure supply constraints do not impede the continuation of elevated
levels of new home construction.
During February 2015, seasonally-adjusted new dwelling approvals
increased most strongly in Victoria (+20.5 per cent), followed by NSW (+13.5
per cent) and Tasmania (+4.0 per cent). Three states saw reduced new dwelling
approvals during February, including Western Australia (-8.0 per cent) and Queensland
(-30.6 per cent). South Australia was particularly down (-41.4 per cent) and urgently
required action to turn around new home building conditions in the state. New
dwelling approvals declined in trend terms in both the Northern Territory (-2.7
per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (-16.2 per cent).