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1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Jun 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/07/2007   
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Image: Construction CONSTRUCTION


In the three months to April 2007, the total number of house approvals (trend) fell 4.6% (226 approvals) in Western Australia, compared to the previous three month period, while the total number of non-house approvals fell 19.3% (245 approvals).


The number of house approvals (trend) in Western Australia declined for 14 consecutive months between January 2006 (1,877) and March 2007 (1,550), with this downward trend ending with a slight increase in house approvals in April 2007 (1,553). During the period of decline, house approvals fell 1.5% (23 approvals) on average per month, significantly lower than the average monthly decline of 6.5% (60 approvals) during the last major downturn in the building cycle between November 1999 and January 2001 (coinciding with the introduction of the GST). Similarly, the number of non-house building approvals (including other residential and non-residential building) have fallen successively over the past 7 months, from a peak of 468 approvals in September 2006 to 321 approvals in April 2007.

The current downturn in Western Australia's building cycle follows three interest rate increases by the Reserve Bank of Australia of 0.25% in May (5.75%), August (6.00%) and November (6.25%) 2006, and coincides with a large increase in new house prices in Perth (up 9.0% excluding land) between the March quarters of 2006 and 2007.

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