Dwelling approvals fall sharply in January

2 March 2021

The number of dwellings approved fell -19.4% in January, in seasonally adjusted terms, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today. 

Daniel Rossi, Director of Construction Statistics at the ABS, said: “Approvals for private houses fell 12.2 per cent in January, following the all-time high recorded in December.

Despite the fall, private house approvals remain 38 per cent higher than in January 2020.

“The surge in Homebuilder applications at the end of 2020, as well as the extension of the program to March, will continue to provide support for private house approvals in the coming months.”

Approvals for private sector dwellings excluding houses (i.e. townhouses and apartments) dropped by 39.5 per cent, and fell to the lowest level approved since January 2012, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Total dwelling approvals fell across all states in January; Queensland (33.3 per cent), Tasmania (24.8 per cent), New South Wales (23.2 per cent), Victoria (13.0 per cent), Western Australia (4.1 per cent) and South Australia (0.5 per cent).

Approvals for private sector houses also fell across all states in January; New South Wales (19.0 per cent), Queensland (19.0 per cent), Victoria (8.4 per cent), South Australia (3.7 per cent) and Western Australia (0.9 per cent).

The value of total building approved fell 16.8 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms. The value of total residential building decreased 17.1 per cent, comprising a 17.8 per cent fall in new residential building, and a 12.7 per cent decrease in alterations and additions. Meanwhile, the value of non-residential building also fell in January (16.3 per cent).