The value of building approvals across Victoria in February has dropped 17.5% to $1.73 billion compared to the same time last year.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data reveals a 7.3% drop in residential building approvals and a 34.6% drop in non-residential building approvals across the state in February 2013 from February 2012 figures. However, the value of building approvals was 6.8% higher than in January.

According to Master Builders Association of Victoria Executive Director Brian Welch, though the Reserve Bank and economic commentators have been talking about a rebound in building activity, the latest figures show it isn’t the case in Victoria.

Highlights of the Australian Bureau of Statistics data:

  • Number of private sector houses approved across the state dropped from 2352 in February 2012 to 2237 in February 2013, a decline of 4.9%
  • New dwelling approvals fell heavily in Melbourne (by 17.6%) and Brisbane (by 2.1%) while Sydney saw significant growth (64.7%)
  • Home renovations approvals $81 million higher compared to the same time last year
  • Value of non-residential building approvals throughout the state was $227 million lower in February 2013 compared to February 2012, the lowest since early 2009
Mr Welch observes that the good news for Victoria’s residential builders has been the strong growth in home renovations approvals, valued at $81 million higher than last year.

He adds that governments need to step up to the plate to protect jobs and investment in the building industry by investing in major projects and cutting red tape.