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Dwelling approvals and construction loan commitments surge

The number of dwellings approved rose 15.4 per cent in September, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data released today. 

“The rise was driven by private sector dwellings, excluding houses, which increased 23.4 per cent,” Daniel Rossi, Director of Construction Statistics at the ABS, explained.

Private sector houses also rose, for the third consecutive month, increasing by 9.7 per cent in September.

“The September results indicate continued demand for detached housing following the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions in most states and territories,” Mr Rossi said.

“A range of federal and state-based incentives are also providing support for the housing sector.”

During September, the total value of new loan commitments for housing also rose by 5.9 per cent.

The value of owner-occupier home loan commitments rose 6.0 per cent to $17.3 billion in September. 

“Approximately half of the rise in September’s owner-occupier housing loan commitments was for the construction of new dwellings, which rose 25.3 per cent,” ABS head of Finance and Wealth, Amanda Seneviratne, said.

This comes after a hefty 19.2 per cent rise in August. 

“Owner-occupier housing loan commitments are at historically high levels, consistent with low interest rates and government incentives,” Ms Seneviratne explained.

“For example, it is likely that the HomeBuilder grant is contributing to increased demand for construction loans”

The value of owner-occupier home loan commitments rose in all states except Victoria and Tasmania.

In Victoria they fell 8.8 per cent, reflecting decreased housing market activity during the harsher Stage 3 and 4 lockdown periods. 

“The fall in commitments for existing dwellings in Victoria was partly offset by a rise in commitments for construction of new dwellings,” Ms Seneviratne continued.

The total value of loan commitments for investor housing was $5.3 billion, an increase of 5.2 per cent. 

Across the states and territories, dwelling approvals rose in Western Australia (42.6 per cent), South Australia (28.3 per cent), Queensland (19.3 per cent), Tasmania (18.8 per cent), Victoria (12.4 per cent), and New South Wales (4.6 per cent).

Approvals for private sector houses rose in South Australia (19.9 per cent), Western Australia (15.1 per cent), Victoria (9.7 per cent), New South Wales (7.3 per cent), and Queensland (3.6 per cent).

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