Private house approvals hit 10-year low

2 March 2023

The total number of dwellings approved fell 27.6 per cent in January (seasonally adjusted) after a 15.3 per cent increase in December, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Daniel Rossi, ABS head of construction statistics, said: “Approvals for private sector houses fell by 13.8 per cent, the fifth consecutive drop, to be the lowest result recorded since June 2012”.

 “The more volatile, private sector dwellings excluding houses series, fell 40.8 per cent, following a 41.9 per cent rise in December”.

Across Australia, total dwelling approvals decreased in New South Wales (-49.0 per cent), Victoria (-38.6 per cent), Tasmania (-31.7 per cent), Western Australia (-7.9 per cent), and South Australia (-6.5 per cent). Only Queensland recorded an increase (+25.6 per cent), driven by apartment developments approved in January.

Approvals for private sector houses fell in all states: Western Australia (-18.7 per cent), New South Wales (-17.3 per cent), Queensland (-16.6 per cent), Victoria (-9.9 per cent) and South Australia (-2.8 per cent).

The value of total building approvals fell 18.6 per cent, following a 1.0 per cent increase in December. The value of total residential building approvals fell 13.6 per cent, comprised of a 15.1 per cent decrease in new residential building and a 4.0 per cent fall in alterations and additions.

The value of non-residential building approved decreased 25.6 per cent, following a 1.6 per cent fall in December.