Dwellings Approvals Rise in April

10 June 2020

The number of dwellings approved rose 1.0 per cent in April, in trend terms, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

"The rise in April was driven by both private sector dwellings excluding houses (1.0 per cent) and private sector houses (0.8 per cent)," said Daniel Rossi, Director of Construction Statistics at the ABS. "These results are consistent with leading indicators in early 2020, prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Building approvals typically lag early indicators of housing demand, such as new home sales and new loan commitments."

Across the states and territories, dwelling approvals rose in the Australian Capital Territory (13.2 per cent), Northern Territory (10.0 per cent), Tasmania (4.2 per cent), Western Australia (2.3 per cent) and New South Wales (2.0 per cent), in trend terms. Falls were recorded in Victoria (0.7 per cent) and South Australia (0.6 per cent), while Queensland was flat.

Approvals for private sector houses increased in New South Wales (2.2 per cent), Western Australia (0.8 per cent) and Victoria (0.7 per cent). Declines were recorded in South Australia (2.5 per cent) and Queensland (0.5 per cent), in trend terms.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for total dwellings approved fell 1.8 per cent in April, driven by a 8.9 per cent decrease in approvals for private dwellings excluding houses. Private sector houses rose 2.7 per cent.

The value of total building approved fell 0.6 per cent in April, in trend terms, and has fallen for two months. The value of residential building rose 1.3 per cent, while non-residential building declined 3.1 per cent.