8731.0 - Building Approvals, Australia, Dec 2018 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/02/2019   
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4 February 2019

MEDIA RELEASE
Embargoed 11:30am (AEDT)
Dwelling approvals decline in December

The number of dwellings approved in Australia fell by 4.1 per cent in December 2018, in trend terms, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

"The trend for the total dwelling approvals series has continued to decline over the past year," said Daniel Rossi, Director of Construction Statistics at the ABS. "The series is now at its lowest level since June 2013."

The decrease in December was driven by private sector dwellings excluding houses (e.g. townhouses and apartments), which fell 8.5 per cent. Private sector houses also declined, by 1.1 per cent.

Among the states and territories, dwelling approvals fell in December in the Australian Capital Territory (21.3 per cent), Queensland (6.5 per cent), New South Wales (5.0 per cent), Western Australia (3.8 per cent), South Australia (1.5 per cent) and Victoria (1.4 per cent) in trend terms. The Northern Territory (1.7 per cent) and Tasmania (1.1 per cent) recorded increases.

Approvals for private sector houses fell 1.1 per cent in December in trend terms. Queensland (3.6 per cent), New South Wales (1.6 per cent) and Western Australia (0.6 per cent) declined, while increases were recorded in South Australia (0.6 per cent) and Victoria (0.2 per cent).

In seasonally adjusted terms, total dwellings fell by 8.4 per cent in December, driven by a 18.8 per cent decrease in private dwellings excluding houses. Private houses also fell 2.2 per cent.

The value of total building approved fell 1.5 per cent in December, in trend terms, and has fallen for the past 13 months. The value of residential building fell 2.6 per cent, while non-residential building rose 0.2 per cent.

Further information is available in Building Approvals, Australia (cat no. 8731.0) on the ABS website at http://www.abs.gov.au.

Media note:
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team at media@abs.gov.au or 1300 175 070 (8.30am - 5pm Mon-Fri).
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