Approvals of dwelling demolitions have been sourced from the ABS' Building Approvals collection; a monthly administrative collection that compiles statistics of building work approved from;
- permits issued by local government authorities and other certifying authorities;
- contracts and work authorised by commonwealth, state and local government authorities; and
- major building approvals in areas not subject to normal administrative approval, such as building on remote mine sites.
The statistics compiled from this collection are published monthly in Building Approvals, Australia and are classified to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), 2016 Edition.
The scope of the Building Approvals collection includes all residential building work valued at $10,000 or more and all non-residential building work valued at $50,000 or more and 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.
For the purpose of collecting demolition approvals, the scope has been extended to include full demolitions of existing dwellings regardless of the value of the work. Approval authorities were formally requested to begin submitting demolition approvals to the ABS in July 2018. Where necessary, dwelling demolitions approved from 2016 onwards were also requested.
ABS building statistics (building approvals, building activity and the dwelling stock series currently under development) classify buildings according to the Functional Classification of Buildings. This defines a dwelling as a self-contained suite of rooms, including cooking and bathing facilities intended for long-term residential use. Regardless of whether they are self-contained or not, rooms within buildings offering institutional care (e.g. hospitals) or temporary accommodation (e.g. motels, hostels and holiday apartments) are not defined as dwellings. This differs from the definition used by the Census (a structure which is intended to have people live in it, and which is habitable on Census night), which can include non-permanent structures such as caravans, houseboats and tents, as well as communal or transitory accommodation such as cabins, hotels, prisons and hospitals.
A dwelling demolition is defined as the complete and intentional dismantling of a dwelling, such that none of the structure remains on site. The scope of the data does not include:
- dwellings demolished without approval;
- dwellings partially demolished;
- dwellings destroyed by natural disasters; or
- dwellings rendered inhabitable by extreme weather events, vandalism, fire damage, modification etc. (except where approval has been granted for the demolition of the remainder of a damaged dwelling).
Data are presented for the following types of dwellings:
- 'Houses' - defined as detached buildings used for long term residential purposes, consisting of only one dwelling unit and are not a result of alterations or additions to a pre-existing building.
- 'Townhouses' - defined as semi-detached row or terrace houses attached in some structural way to one or more dwellings, with their own private grounds and no separate dwelling above or below.
- 'Apartments' - defined as blocks of dwellings that don't have their own private grounds and usually share a common entrance, foyer or stairwell.
Data for new dwellings approved used in this article have been taken from the July 2020 edition of Building Approvals, Australia.