Large fall in apartment approvals drives decline in July

30 August 2022

The total number of dwellings approved fell 17.2 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms in July, following a 0.6 per cent decrease in June, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Daniel Rossi, head of construction statistics at the ABS, said: “The decrease in the total number of dwellings approved in July was led by a sharp decline in approvals for private sector dwellings excluding houses, which dropped by 43.5 per cent. This was the lowest level recorded since January 2012 and was driven by a lack of approvals for large apartment developments.”

“Approvals for private sector houses remained steady, rising 0.7 per cent in June, following a 1.6 per cent increase in June.”

Western Australia had the largest drop in the number of dwelling approvals (-36.9 per cent), followed by Victoria (-17.4 per cent), New South Wales (-16.2 per cent), Tasmania (-14.5 per cent) and Queensland (-13.7 per cent). Dwelling approvals rose in South Australia 19.2 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Only two states recorded a decline in approvals for private sector houses, Western Australia (-8.7 per cent) and New South Wales (-6.3 per cent). In contrast, approvals for private sector houses rose in South Australia (18.6 per cent), Queensland (5.8 per cent) and Victoria (1.5 per cent).

The value of total building approved fell 12.9 per cent in July, following a 6.2 per cent decline in June. The value of total residential building fell 6.1 per cent, comprising of a 6.9 per cent decline in new residential building and a 1.3 per cent decrease in alterations and additions.

The value of non-residential building fell 22.6 per cent, driven by falls in both private and public sector approvals in July.