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Graph 20.11 illustrates the general cyclical pattern of new house commencements. Lows were recorded in 1990 and 1996, with peaks in 1994 and 1998. New house construction grew throughout 1992, 1993 and 1994, the number of commencements peaking in the June quarter 1994. New house commencements fell in each quarter of 1994-95 and 1995-96, but grew in each quarter of 1996-97. There was continued growth in the trend up to the June quarter 1998 for new house commencements, although the rate of growth in the trend eased in the first half of 1998.
Table 20.12 shows that new house commencements are the major component of residential building activity. In 2000 new houses accounted for 70% of new residential dwelling units commenced (i.e. excluding approvals for conversions). This proportion is similar for approvals and completions.
The table also shows that residential building activity is dominated by the private sector. In 2000 this sector accounted for around 98% of approvals, commencements and completions of new houses. The public sector was slightly more significant in 'new other residential building' work, accounting for 5% of approvals, commencements and completions.