The Housing Industry Association, the voice of Australia’s residential building industry, reports that new dwelling approvals strengthened during May and remain at high levels.

Rising by 2.4 per cent to 19,414 during May 2015 compared to 18,964 in April, the total new dwelling approval figures also saw a rebound in multi-unit approvals with a 15.1 per cent increase occurring during May while detached house approvals fell by 8.5 per cent in the same month. A total of 218,442 approvals were recorded in the year to May 2015, a new record for approvals over any twelve-month period since records began in 1983.

HIA Senior Economist Shane Garrett noted that dwelling approvals during May recorded their third highest monthly total on record. However, the distribution of growth was uneven with the multi-units segment performing well and detached house approvals falling back.

According to Shane Garrett, the latest figures indicate that there will be a solid pipeline of new home building during the second half of 2015. However, the recent strengthening of price pressures in several markets suggests that the supply of new homes will need to stay at elevated levels in order to fully address demand.

Shane Garrett concluded that policymakers must rectify the bottlenecks in the planning system, redress the excessive fees and charges on new residential developments, and ensure that the pipeline of residential land will meet the ongoing community demand for new homes.

During May 2015, seasonally-adjusted new dwelling approvals saw the strongest increase in Victoria (+11.0 per cent), followed by New South Wales (+8.8 per cent) and Queensland (+3.6 per cent). A slight increase was also recorded in Western Australia (+0.2 per cent).

New dwelling approvals fell significantly in Tasmania (-32.6 per cent) and in South Australia (-9.9 per cent). In trend terms, new dwelling approvals increased in the Northern Territory (+9.7 per cent) and in the ACT (+6.0 per cent) during May.