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8731.0 - Building Approvals, Australia, May 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/07/2002   
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Feature Article - Changes in the mix of dwelling types


This article was published in Building Approvals, Australia (ABS Cat. no 8731.0) May, 2002

INTRODUCTION

The number of new dwellings built each year can vary depending on factors such as economic conditions, demand and the capacity of the construction industry to respond to that demand. Since 1984-85 the number of dwellings completed each year has fluctuated between 119,000 and 173,000. Despite changes in numbers, there is an underlying shift in the proportion of all new dwellings that are houses. This proportion is gradually declining in favour of semi-detached buildings, flats, units and apartments. This article presents information on the number and type of dwelling units completed across Australia during the 16 years between 1984-85 and 2000-01. Data were obtained from the quarterly Building Activity Survey.


HOUSES AND OTHER RESIDENTIAL DWELLINGS - AUSTRALIA

The table below shows that the number of houses completed in Australia varied between 1984-85 and 2000-01. The largest number of houses completed was in 1993-94 (122,307) and the least in 1996-97 (83,757). Other residential dwellings was highest in 1994-95 (50,763) and lowest in 1987-88 (26,337). Generally, a greater number of other residential dwellings have been built over the last 9 years than in the preceding years. Total dwelling units completed varied throughout the period, with the highest number in 1994-95 (173,197) and the lowest in 1987-88 (119,633).

DWELLING UNITS COMPLETED, Australia



Period


Houses

no.



%(c)
Other
residential
buildings(a)
no.



%(c)

Total dwelling

units(b)
no.

1984-85
111,837
78.0
31,239
21.8
143,433
1985-86
108,158
76.3
33,097
23.3
141,810
1986-87
91,686
75.8
28,944
23.9
120,963
1987-88
92,857
77.6
26,337
22.0
119,633
1988-89
115,627
76.1
35,879
23.6
151,906
1989-90
117,926
72.8
43,639
26.9
162,047
1990-91
97,842
72.1
37,665
27.7
135,792
1991-92
99,885
74.6
33,778
25.2
133,956
1992-93
115,317
73.2
42,107
26.7
157,608
1993-94
122,307
71.6
47,954
28.1
170,750
1994-95
122,050
70.5
50,763
29.3
173,197
1995-96
94,841
68.3
43,727
31.5
138,862
1996-97
83,757
68.7
37,865
31.1
121,855
1997-98
94,937
70.2
39,835
29.5
135,202
1998-99
99,463
68.2
45,680
31.3
145,757
1999-00
111,693
70.4
46,540
29.3
158,731
2000-01
92,359
67.5
44,153
32.3
136,830

(a) Includes semi-detached, row and terrace houses; flats, units and apartments (see Glossary for definitions).
(b) Includes dwellings attached to non-residential buildings.
(c) Percentage of total dwellings units.


HOUSES AND OTHER RESIDENTIAL DWELLINGS - AUSTRALIA continued

The graph below displays the proportion of total dwelling units completed accounted for by houses and other residential buildings. For houses, this proportion fell gradually from 78% in 1984-85 to 67.5% in 2000-01. For other residential buildings, the proportion rose from 21.8% in 1984-85 to 32.3% in 2000-01, which illustrates a shift in Australia from houses to other residential dwellings.

DWELLING TYPE AS A PROPORTION OF TOTAL DWELLING UNITS - Australia
GRAPH: DWELLING TYPE AS A PROPORTION OF TOTAL DWELLING UNITS - Australia


OTHER RESIDENTIAL DWELLINGS-NUMBER OF STOREYS

There has been a clear trend towards an increase in the number of storeys for other residential buildings. The table below shows that the category 'semi-detached, row or terrace houses and townhouses' of two or more storeys has trended upwards between 1993-94 and 2000-01, while those with one storey decreased fairly steadily. Over the same period flats, units or apartments in buildings of one or two storeys has trended downwards, while those with four or more storeys increased dramatically.

DWELLING UNITS COMPLETED, By Dwelling Type, By Number of Storeys
SEMI-DETACHED, ROW OR TERRACE HOUSE, TOWNHOUSE

FLAT UNIT OR APARTMENT IN A BUILDING OF


PERIOD
1 STOREY
2 OR MORE STOREYS
TOTAL
1 OR 2 STOREYS
3 STOREYS
4 OR MORE STOREYS
TOTAL

1993-94
19,485
7,522
27,007
11,179
4,358
2,769
20,947
1994-95
19,522
10,174
29,696
8,187
4,954
5,916
21,067
1995-96
14,954
8,757
23,711
6,033
3,927
8,371
20,016
1996-97
12,293
7,359
19,652
4,913
4,449
8,314
18,213
1997-98
10,944
9,393
20,337
4,954
5,074
9,140
19,498
1998-99
10,414
10,706
21,120
4,902
5,958
13,565
24,560
1999-00
10,107
11,811
21,918
4,366
4,787
15,111
24,622
2000-01
8,596
10,347
18,943
4,655
5,063
15,305
25,210

(a) Total includes flats, units and apartments attached to a house, and other residential buildings with
number of storeys unknown.


OTHER RESIDENTIAL DWELLINGS-NUMBER OF STOREYS continued

The graph below displays semi-detached etc. buildings as a proportion of total dwelling
units completed. The proportion of one storey semi-detached etc. buildings have decreased over time, falling from 11.4% in 1993-94 to 6.3% in 2000-01. Comparatively, dwelling units completed as semi-detached etc. buildings of two or more storeys increased from 4.4 % to 7.6% between 1993-94 and 2000-01.

SEMI DETACHED DWELLINGS(a) AS A PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL DWELLING UNITS, Australia
GRAPH: SEMI DETACHED DWELLINGS(a) AS A PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL DWELLING UNITS - Australia


The following graph shows that flats, units and apartments in buildings of four or more storeys as a proportion of total dwelling units completed increased from 1.6% in 1993-94 to 11.2% in 2000-01. During this period, those of three storeys increased their proportion slightly from 2.6% to 3.7%. Conversely, the proportion of flats units and apartments of one or two storeys decreased from 6.6% to 3.4%.

FLATS, UNITS AND APARTMENTS AS A PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL DWELLINGS, Australia
GRAPH: FLATS, UNITS AND APARTMENTS AS A PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL DWELLINGS - Australia


HOUSES AND OTHER RESIDENTIAL DWELLINGS - States

Different patterns across States are evident in the proportions of houses and other residential dwellings completed over time. Of all the States, New South Wales has the lowest proportion of houses to total dwellings being completed.


NEW SOUTH WALES

GRAPH: DWELLING TYPE AS A PROPORTION OF TOTAL DWELLING UNITS, NEW SOUTH WALES



Between 1984-85 and 2000-01 the proportion of houses to total dwellings decreased and the proportion of other residential dwellings to total dwellings increased. In 2000-01, 54.1% of total dwelling units were houses.


VICTORIA

GRAPH: DWELLING TYPE AS A PROPORTION OF TOTAL DWELLING UNITS, VICTORIA



In 1996-97 the proportion of houses to total dwelling units decreased significantly and conversely, the proportion of other residential dwellings to total dwellings increased. The ratios have remained relatively stable since 1996-97.


QUEENSLAND

GRAPH: DWELLING TYPE AS A PROPORTION OF TOTAL DWELLING UNITS, QUEENSLAND



Between 1984-85 and 2000-01 there has been a slight decrease in the proportion of houses to total dwellings and an increase in the proportion of other residential dwellings to total dwellings.


SOUTH AUSTRALIA

GRAPH: DWELLING TYPE AS A PROPORTION OF TOTAL DWELLING UNITS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA



In contrast to the eastern States, the proportion of houses to total dwellings has increased and the proportion of other residential dwellings to total dwellings has decreased over the last 16 years.


WESTERN AUSTRALIA

GRAPH: DWELLING TYPE AS A PROPORTION OF TOTAL DWELLING UNITS, WESTERN AUSTRALIA



Between 1994-95 and 1997-98, the proportion of houses to total dwellings increased and the proportion of other residential dwellings to total dwellings decreased. This movement has been slightly reversed in the last three years.


TASMANIA

GRAPH: DWELLING TYPE AS A PROPORTION OF TOTAL DWELLING UNITS, TASMANIA



Since 1992/93 there has been a slight increase in the proportion of houses to total dwellings and a decrease in the proportion of other residential dwellings to total dwellings.


NORTHERN TERRITORY

GRAPH: DWELLING TYPE AS A PROPORTION OF TOTAL DWELLING UNITS, NORTHERN TERRITORY



Since 1996/97 houses and other residential buildings have begun to account for a more equal proportion of total dwellings.


AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
GRAPH: DWELLING TYPE AS A PROPORTION OF TOTAL DWELLING UNITS, AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY



The proportion of houses and other residential buildings to total dwellings has varied between 1984/85 and 2000/01.


For further information on this topic contact Roger Mableson on 08 8237 7494.

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