February boost for new dwelling approvals: HIA

Property ObserverApril 3, 20160 min read

New dwelling approvals for February are up from January according to the ABS, with new home building approvals up by 3.1 percent.

Senior Housing Industry Association economist Shane Garrett said the monthly lift in approvals activity during February is welcome but it seems increasingly likely that approvals peaked late last year and that the volume of new home building activity is set to ease as 2016 progresses.

“Our latest forecasts indicate that the about 200,000 new dwelling starts will take place during 2016, a reduction of 9.2 percent from last year," he said.

"This would still represent a very high level of output by historic standards. However, the risk remains that new home building output will fall below the levels required to meet long term demand. The onus remains on policy makers to tackle this problem, and confront issues like planning delays, land supply shortfalls and heavily inefficient taxes like conveyance stamp duty. 

"During February 2016, new home building approvals rose by 3.1 percent. This comprised a 1.0 percent decline in detached house approvals but the more volatile multi-unit segment achieved growth of some 7.7 percent in approvals during the month. Over the year to February, new dwelling approvals totalled 232,194. The flow of data over recent months indicates that approvals may have hit their high point in the year to October 2015, with a record 239,250 approvals registered over that 12 month period."



During February 2016, total seasonally adjusted new home building approvals saw the largest increase in Tasmania (+24.5 percent) with growth also occurring in New South Wales (+14.3 percent) and Queensland (+9.5 percent). Approvals declined in Victoria (-12.8 percent), South Australia (-10.9 percent) and Western Australia (-7.6 percent). In trend terms, approvals saw a 9.2 percent decline in the Northern Territory but rose by 5.0 percent in the Australian Capital Territory.

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