Dwelling approvals fall in three months to July but still higher than pre-COVID levels

Approvals to build new houses, apartments and residential dwellings have dropped 13 per cent, according to the Housing Industry Association.

The Announcement:

“Residential building approvals continued to fall in July 2021 as the effects of HomeBuilder wash through the market,” stated HIA Economist, Angela Lillicrap.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released its monthly building approvals data for detached and multi-units data covering all states and territories.

“Total dwelling approvals declined by 13.0 per cent in the three months to July 2021 compared to the previous quarter, with detached approvals falling by 14.6 per cent and multi-unit approvals down by 9.7 per cent,” added Ms Lillicrap.

“The data indicates that the majority of HomeBuilder projects have now finished the approvals process and will be commencing construction in the coming months.

“Despite the decline, detached approvals remain elevated compared to pre-COVID levels. They were 43.2 per cent higher than the same quarter last year.

“Multi-unit approvals were 39.0 per cent higher in the three months to July than the same time last year, which was the low point in the cycle. This has largely been driven by approvals for semi-detached units and townhouses.

“Approvals for semi-detached units are comparable to levels seen in 2018 when the market was near its peak. This likely reflects the shift in consumer preferences towards lower density housing,” concluded Ms Lillicrap.

In seasonally adjusted terms, total residential building approvals saw the largest decline in the three months to July 2021 compared to the previous quarter in Western Australia (-27.3 per cent). This was followed by Queensland (-23.0 per cent), Tasmania (-15.1 per cent), South Australia (-10.4 per cent) and New South Wales (-8.7 per cent). Approvals in Victoria were flat (+0.3 per cent).

In original terms, building approvals declined in the Northern Territory by 46.2 per cent and the Australian Capital Territory declined by 54.8 per cent.

Source: Housing Industry Association (HIA)

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