Dwelling approvals March to new record

Media release

New home building approvals hit yet another all-time record high during March, said the Housing Industry Association, the voice of Australia’s residential building industry.

“Strong activity in the high density segment helped propel dwelling approvals to unprecedented levels in March,” noted HIA Senior Economist, Shane Garrett.

“New home building continues to benefit from the exceptionally low level of interest rates, as well as strong population growth over recent years in the key home buyer age group,” Shane Garrett explained.

During March 2015, new dwelling approvals reached 19,419 in seasonally-adjusted terms. This represented a 2.8 per cent increase on February. Growth was concentrated in the multi-unit segment of new home building, with a 5.3 per cent increase occurring during the month. Detached house approvals rose by 0.5 per cent during March. The performance of new dwelling approvals in March represents another record result for the 32 year old series, with a total of 210,484 approvals being recorded over the twelve months to March.

“New home building is keeping domestic demand above the waterline,” said Shane Garrett. “Were it not for the performance of the residential construction industry, Australia’s economy would be in a far weaker state.”

“While growth in multi-unit approvals has been very strong, the detached house side of the market has been pretty flat over the past year. It is important that constraints around planning and land supply are tackled in order to ensure that detached house building activity delivers on its full potential,” concluded Shane Garrett.

During March 2015, seasonally-adjusted new dwelling approvals increased most strongly in Tasmania (+42.3 per cent), followed by South Australia (+35.2 per cent), Western Australia (+18.9 per cent) and Queensland (+8.1 per cent). The volume of new home approvals declined both in Victoria (-6.0 per cent) and in NSW (-3.7 per cent). In trend terms, both the Northern Territory (-14.6 per cent) and the ACT (3.8 per cent) saw fewer dwelling approvals during March.

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