New housing construction in Australia is showing a strong recovery according to the latest ABS building activity data.

Master Builders Australia CEO Wilhelm Harnisch observes that dwelling commencements grew by 8.5 per cent, seasonally adjusted in the March 2014 quarter. This trend is seen in all states except South Australia.

Dwelling commencements were the highest in the Australian Capital Territory at 31.6 per cent, followed by 15.4 per cent in Victoria, 12.1 per cent in Western Australia, 5.9 per cent in the Northern Territory, 5.3 per cent in Tasmania, 2.5 per cent in New South Wales and 1.3 per cent in Queensland.

According to Wilhelm Harnisch, the 12.9 per cent upturn in commencements for detached houses confirms Master Builders’ forecasts that earlier strong growth for units and apartments was the start of increased confidence in the broader residential building sector. The March quarter jump in commencements will see a strong pipeline of work for the industry over the next year.

Wilhelm Harnisch adds that this growth pattern will have an economy wide benefit and will be one of the key industry drivers in re-balancing the economy hit by a waning mining construction boom while also encouraging employment.