Building approvals soar across the nation

New Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows the number of building approvals across the nation skyrocketed in February.

According to the ABS data released today, the number of dwellings approved rose 21.6 per cent in February, seasonally adjusted, after falling 19.4 per cent in January.

ABS Director of Construction Statistics Bill Becker said approvals for private houses had increased 15.1 per cent in February, exceeding the previous record-high set in December last year.

“Since the introduction of the Homebuilder grant in June 2020, private house approvals have risen by almost 70 per cent,” Mr Becker said.

Approvals for private-sector townhouses and apartments increased by 45.3 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms, after coming off a nine-year low in January.

The highest increase in total dwelling approvals was in Queensland, where there was a 40.5 per cent increase, followed by Tasmania (31.6 per cent), Victoria (21.7 per cent), Western Australia (19.1 per cent) and New South Wales (16.1 per cent). 

Overall dwelling approvals fell by 3.4 per cent in South Australia in February, seasonally adjusted.

Approvals for private sector houses rose across all mainland states in February; with Queensland again leading the pack with a 25.4 per cent rise, followed by Western Australia (16.7 per cent), New South Wales (14.5 per cent), Victoria (11.1 per cent) and South Australia (4.0 per cent).

The value of total residential building increased by 21.0 per cent in February, comprising a 22.8 per cent rise in new residential building, and a 11.1 per cent increase in alterations and additions. 

The value of non-residential construction also increased by 27.5 per cent in February.

Today’s statistics follow the release of ABS data earlier this week that showed Brisbane recorded the highest growth rate of all Australian capital cities during the 2019-20 financial year.

The Queensland capital experienced population growth of 1.9 per cent in the 12 months to June 30 last year. 

“Brisbane was closely followed by Perth with a population growth rate of 1.8 per cent,” ABS Director of Demography Phil Browning said.

“Third was Melbourne with growth of 1.6 per cent.”

Melbourne experienced the largest population growth by volume, with an increase in population of more than 80,000 people.

Sydney had an increase in its population of 57,100 people to reach 5.37 million, Brisbane grew by 46,900 people and Perth by 37,600 people.

Only Darwin experienced a decrease in population during 2019-20, with 180 fewer people calling the Northern Territory capital home at 30 June 2020 compared to the previous year.

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Daniel Johnson

Daniel Johnson was the news editor for Elite Agent. He worked with the company from February 2020 to June 2020. For current stories, news alerts or pitches, please email