Apartment approvals drive growth in May

5 July 2023

The total number of dwellings approved rose 20.6 per cent in May, in seasonally adjusted terms, following a 6.8 per cent decrease in April, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Daniel Rossi, ABS head of construction statistics, said: “The rise in total dwellings was driven by the more volatile dwellings excluding houses series, which rose 59.4 per cent. This increase reflected a large number of apartment developments approved in New South Wales in May.”

“Approvals for private sector houses remain more subdued, rising 0.9 per cent, following a 3.0 per cent fall in April.”

Across Australia, total dwelling approvals were mixed, with rises in New South Wales (+52.9 per cent), Tasmania (+41.1 per cent), Victoria (+15.0 per cent) and Queensland (+0.9 per cent). Meanwhile, falls were recorded for Western Australia (-11.1 per cent) and South Australia (-4.8 per cent).

Approvals for private sector houses were driven by a rise in Victoria (+7.3 per cent), while falls were recorded in all other states: South Australia (-7.2 per cent), Western Australia (-4.5 per cent), New South Wales (-3.4 per cent) and Queensland (-1.8 per cent).

The value of total building approvals rose 11.1 per cent, following a 1.7 per cent rise in April.

The value of total residential building approvals rose 15.2 per cent, comprised of a 17.1 per cent rise in new residential building and a 4.3 per cent rise in alterations and additions.

The value of non-residential building approved reached the highest level since March 2021, rising a further 6.6 per cent in May, following a 10.0 per cent rise in April.