December building approval results have been released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics which confirms that the 2017 year saw a cooling in the number of new dwellings being constructed.
Tim Reardon, HIA’s Principal Economist said although the market for single detached houses remains solid, as it has since 2014 and was up by 1% in December, the big change in the housing market has been the rapid growth in the number of apartments since 2014. A third of Australians are now choosing to purchase an apartment.
“The month by month flow of building approvals for multi-unit dwellings continues to be quite volatile. After an exceptionally strong result in November the number of approvals in December fell by 39.2 per cent. While this is quite a significant month to month fall, the average number of approvals in the final three months is consistent with levels of approval activity that we have seen throughout the year,” Mr Reardon said.
“In the final quarter of 2017, building approvals fell by a modest 1.7% and was 3.2% higher than the same time a year earlier.
“Victoria is continuing to be the shining light in the building industry and is joined by Tasmania as the only states that experienced growth in the month of December. Victoria has been the fastest growing state in terms of population – it is encouraging that new housing supply in the state is responding to the strongly growing demand,” concluded Mr Reardon.
Dwelling approvals decreased in December in the Australian Capital Territory (35.0 per cent), the Northern Territory (12.9 per cent), New South Wales (5.6 per cent), South Australia (2.4 per cent), Western Australia (1.3 per cent) and Queensland (0.8 per cent), but increased in Tasmania (3.1 per cent) and Victoria (2.5 per cent) in trend terms.