1368.1 - New South Wales Regional Statistics, 2007  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/12/2007   
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1 The Building Approvals Collection (BAPS) presents monthly details of building work approved.

2 Data from this collection provides timely estimates of future building activity and is an important leading economic indicator. It also provides the sampling framework for the quarterly Building Activity Survey, which is a major contributor to the quarterly National Accounts estimates.

3 BAPS collects data relating to residential and non-residential building work (above certain value limits) that has been approved within the reference month.

4 In this product data are presented on the number of dwelling units that will be created as a result of the approval and the value of the building jobs approved.


5 The scope of the survey comprises:

  • construction of new buildings;
  • alterations and additions to existing buildings;
  • approved non-structural renovation and refurbishment work; and
  • approved installation of integral building fixtures.

6 From July 1990, the statistics include:
  • all approved new residential building valued at $10,000 or more;
  • approved alterations and additions to residential building valued at $10,000 or more; and
  • all approved non-residential building jobs valued at $50,000 or more.

7 Excluded from the statistics is construction activity not defined as building (e.g. roads, bridges, railways, earthworks, landscaping, etc).


8 The data presented relates to the financial year 2006–07.


9 The following key data items relate to data used in this product.

10 Alterations and additions: Building activity carried out on existing buildings. Includes adding to or diminishing floor area, altering the structural design of a building and affixing rigid components which are integral to the functioning of the building.

11 Building: A building is a rigid, fixed and permanent structure which has a roof. Its intended purpose is primarily to house people, plant, machinery, vehicles, goods or livestock. An integral feature of a building's design is the provision for regular access by persons in order to satisfy its intended use.

12 Commercial: Buildings primarily occupied with or engaged in commercial trade or work intended for commercial trade, including buildings used primarily in wholesale and retail trades, office and transport activities.

13 Conversions: Building activity which converts to a non-residential building to a residential building, e.g. conversion of a warehouse to residential apartments. Conversion is considered to be a special type of alteration, and these jobs have been separately identified as such from the July 1996 reference month, though they have only appeared separately in the Building Approvals publication from the January 1998 issue. Prior to that issue, conversions were published as part of the 'Conversions, etc' category or included elsewhere within a table.

14 Dwelling unit: A dwelling unit is a self-contained suite of rooms, including cooking and bathing facilities and intended for long-term residential use. Regardless of whether they are self-contained or not, units within buildings offering institutional care (e.g. hospitals) or temporary accommodation (e.g. motels, hostels and holiday apartments) are not defined as dwelling units. Such units are included in the appropriate category of non-residential building approvals. Dwelling units can be created in one of four ways: through new work to create a residential building; through alteration/addition work to an existing residential building; through either new or alteration/addition work on non-residential building, or through conversion of a non-residential building to a residential building.

15 Houses: A house is a detached building primarily intended for long term residential purposes. It consists of one dwelling unit. For instance, detached 'granny flats' and detached dwelling units (e.g. caretaker's residences) associated with a non-residential building are defined as houses. Also includes 'cottages', 'bungalows' and rectories.

16 Industrial buildings: Buildings used for warehousing and the production and assembly activities of industrial establishments, including factories and plants.

17 New buildings: Building activity which will result in the creation of a building which previously did not exist.

18 Non-residential building: A non-residential building is primarily intended for purposes other than long term residential purposes. Note that, on occasions, one or more dwelling units may be created through non-residential building activity. However, the value of these dwelling units cannot be separated out from that of the non-residential building which they are part of. Therefore the value associated with these remain in the appropriate non-residential category.

19 Other non-residential building: In this product, an other non-residential building is a building whose function is categorised as education, religion, aged care (including nursing homes), health facilities, entertainment and recreation, short-term accommodation or non-residential buildings not elsewhere classified.

20 Other residential building: An other residential building is a building other than a house primarily intended for long-term residential purposes. An other residential building contains more than one dwelling unit. Other residential buildings are coded to the following categories: semidetached, row or terrace house or townhouse with one storey; semidetached, row or terrace house or townhouse with two or more storeys; flat, unit or apartment in a building of one or two storeys; flat, unit or apartment in a building of three storeys; flat, unit or apartment in a building of four or more storeys; flat, unit or apartment attached to a house; other/number of storeys unknown.

21 Ownership: Building ownership is classified as either public or private sector and is based on the sector of the intended owner of the completed building at the time of approval. Residential buildings constructed by private sector builders under government housing authority schemes are classified as public sector when the authority has contracted, or intends to contract, to purchase the building on or before completion.

22 Residential building: A residential building is a building consisting of one ore more dwelling units. Residential buildings can be either houses or other residential buildings.


23 Building approval statistics are coded according to the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), 2006 edition (cat. No. 1216.0). In this product data are presented for Local Government Areas.

24 From 1 July 2002, approvals in the External Territories of Australia are included in these statistics.


25 Statistics of building work approved are compiled from:
  • permits issued from local government authorities and other principal certifying authorities;
  • contracts let or day labour work authorised by Commonwealth, State, semi-government and local government authorities; and
  • major building approvals in areas not subject to normal administrative approval (e.g. building on remote mine sites).


26 Statistics on the value of building work approved are derived by aggregating the estimated 'value of building work when completed' as reported on building approval documents provided to local councils or other building approval authorities. Conceptually these value data should exclude the value of land and landscaping but include site preparation costs. These estimates are usually a reliable indicator of the completed value of 'houses'. However, for 'other residential buildings' and 'non-residential buildings', they can differ significantly from the completed value of the building as final costs and contracts have not been established before council approval is sought and gained.

27 The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) generally accepts values provided by approving bodies. Every effort is made to ensure data are provided on a consistent basis, however, there may be instances where value reported does not reflect the building completion value. For example, the reported value for most project homes is the contract price, which may include the cost of site preparation and landscaping. In other cases where a builder is contracted to construct a dwelling based on the owner's plans, the value may only be the builder's costs. Some councils do not use the value on approval documents, instead deriving a value based on floor area and type of structure.

28 From July 2000, value data includes the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for residential and non-residential building approvals. The ABS has consulted with councils and other approving authorities to ensure that approval values are reported inclusive of GST. Where is was identified by a council or other approving authority that approvals submitted from its jurisdiction were on a GST-exclusive basis, the ABS made adjustments to the data to ensure that values were consistent with other data collected and were inclusive of GST.

29 When figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.


30 The main summary publication from this survey is Building Approvals, Australia (cat. No. 8731.0).


31 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. For further information, please contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.