Small Area Dwelling Completions

Experimental estimates of houses, townhouses and apartments completed by Statistical Area Level 2

Released
14/10/2020

Key statistics

  • Areas with the highest growth in new houses were predominantly located in the outer suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney, such as Cranbourne East in Victoria (8,377 houses completed from the March 2016 quarter to the December 2019 quarter) and Riverstone - Marsden Park in New South Wales (8,034 houses completed).
  • Areas with the highest growth in new townhouses were predominantly located in middle suburbs 10-20kms outside of Melbourne and Brisbane, such as Glenroy (987 townhouses completed) and Pascoe Vale (979 townhouses completed) in Victoria.
  • Areas with the highest growth in new apartments were predominantly located in the inner suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney, such as Melbourne (8,533 apartments completed) and Waterloo - Beaconsfield (5,950 apartments completed) in New South Wales.

Highest growth areas - Australia

New houses

The areas with the largest number of new houses were predominantly located in the outer suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney. Exceptions to this were Pimpama on the Gold Coast in Queensland, and Ellenbrook in the outer suburbs of Perth in Western Australia. Five of the top ten SA2s with the highest growth in houses were located in Victoria, three in New South Wales, and one each in Queensland and Western Australia.

The highest number of house completions were recorded in Cranbourne East in Victoria, with 8,377 new houses.
 

Table 1: SA2s with the highest number of houses completed, Australia, March 2016 quarter to December 2019 quarter
StateSA2 CodeSA2 NameHouses completedTownhouses completedApartments completedTotal dwellings completed
VIC212031301Cranbourne East8377643359054
NSW116021312Riverstone - Marsden Park80345207069261
NSW127011506Cobbitty - Leppington7263669147946
NSW115041302Rouse Hill - Beaumont Hills417126411295564
VIC210051445Mickleham - Yuroke40821604098
QLD309071257Pimpama393772304661
VIC213051365Tarneit3921286124219
VIC213051366Truganina3220122413384
WA504031059Ellenbrook3162139503350
VIC212011287Beaconsfield - Officer310038103481

The sum of the components may not equal the total as the totals have been calculated using un-rounded figures.

 

New townhouses

The areas with the largest number of new townhouses were predominantly located in middle suburbs 10-20kms outside of Australia's capital cities. Four of the top ten SA2s with the highest growth in townhouses were located in Victoria. A further four were located in Queensland, one in New South Wales, and one in the Australian Capital Territory. 

The highest number of townhouse completions were recorded in Glenroy, an inner suburb of Melbourne, with 987 new townhouses.
 

Table 2: SA2s with the highest number of townhouses completed, Australia, March 2016 quarter to December 2019 quarter
StateSA2 CodeSA2 NameHouses completedTownhouses completedApartments completedTotal dwellings completed
VIC210031438Glenroy3269871061419
VIC210031239Pascoe Vale3099791501439
ACT801011018Lawson167824481039
VIC213031347Braybrook1997758982
QLD310011274Inala - Richlands14775912918
QLD309071257Pimpama393772304661
QLD310011273Forest Lake - Doolandella35971601075
VIC209021207Reservoir - East282687951064
QLD314021390North Lakes - Mango Hill16646712582594
NSW127011506Cobbitty - Leppington7263669147946

The sum of the components may not equal the total as the totals have been calculated using un-rounded figures.

New apartments

The areas with the largest number of new apartments were located in inner city suburbs of Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. Of the top ten SA2s with the highest growth in apartments, four were located in Victoria, four in New South Wales, and two in Queensland. 

The highest number of new apartment completions were recorded in Melbourne, with 8,533 new apartments.

Table 3: SA2s with the highest number of apartments completed, Australia, March 2016 quarter to December 2019 quarter
StateSA2 CodeSA2 NameHouses completedTownhouses completedApartments completedTotal dwellings completed
VIC206041122Melbourne2085338535
NSW117031338Waterloo - Beaconsfield278159506058
QLD305031128Newstead - Bowen Hills171451095140
NSW125011473Homebush Bay - Silverwater31050355048
QLD305011110South Brisbane2043374339
NSW117011322Mascot - Eastlakes922542784395
VIC206041123North Melbourne226136903773
VIC206041118Docklands8034513459
NSW119041375Arncliffe - Bardwell Valley632632783367
VIC206041126Southbank11230683081

The sum of the components may not equal the total as the totals have been calculated using un-rounded figures.

Highest growth areas - states and territories

New South Wales

The three SA2s with the highest levels of growth in houses and townhouses are were all located in the outer suburbs of Sydney. Cobbitty - Leppington is represented in the three highest-growth SA2s for both houses and townhouses. In contrast, the top three SA2s with the highest growth in apartments were inner-city suburbs of Sydney.
 

Table 4: SA2s with the highest number of houses, townhouses and apartments completed, New South Wales, March 2016 quarter to December 2019 quarter  
SA2 CodeSA2 NameHouses completedTownhouses completedApartments completedTotal dwellings completed
 Highest number of houses
116021312Riverstone - Marsden Park8,0345207069,261
127011506Cobbitty - Leppington7,263669147,946
115041302Rouse Hill - Beaumont Hills4,1712641,1295,564
Highest number of townhouses
127011506Cobbitty - Leppington7,263669147,946
119011359Panania - Milperra - Picnic Point22161261894
123021440Ingleburn - Denham Court2,178560552,793
Highest number of apartments
117031338Waterloo - Beaconsfield27815,9506,058
125011473Homebush Bay - Silverwater3105,0355,048
117011322Mascot - Eastlakes92254,2784,395
The sum of the components may not equal the total as the totals have been calculated using un-rounded figures.
 

Figures 1-3 demonstrate the distribution of houses, townhouses and apartments completed around Sydney. 

Figure 1: Number of houses completed, New South Wales SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 1: Number of houses completed, New South Wales SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 1: Number of houses completed, New South Wales SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 2: Number of townhouses completed, New South Wales SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 2: Number of townhouses completed, New South Wales SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 2: Number of townhouses completed, New South Wales SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 3: Number of apartments completed, New South Wales SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 3: Number of apartments completed, New South Wales SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 3: Number of apartments completed, New South Wales SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Victoria

The top three SA2s with the highest growth in houses were located in the inner and outer suburbs of Melbourne, whilst the highest-growth SA2s for townhouses were all located in the inner suburbs of Melbourne. The three highest-growth SA2s for apartments were all inner city suburbs of Melbourne.
 

Table 5: SA2s with the highest number of houses, townhouses and apartments completed, Victoria, March 2016 quarter to December 2019 quarter  
SA2 CodeSA2 NameHouses completedTownhouses completedApartments completedTotal dwellings completed
Highest number of houses
212031301Cranbourne East8,377643359,054
210051445Mickleham - Yuroke4,0821604,098
213051365Tarneit3,921286124,219
Highest number of townhouses
210031438Glenroy3269871061,419
210031239Pascoe Vale3099791501,439
213031347Braybrook1997758982
Highest number of apartments
206041122Melbourne208,5338,535
206041123North Melbourne22613,6903,773
206041118Docklands803,4513,459
The sum of the components may not equal the total as the totals have been calculated using un-rounded figures.
 

Figures 4-6 demonstrate the distribution of houses, townhouses and apartments completed around Melbourne. 
 

Figure 4: Number of houses completed, Victoria SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Map of the number of houses completed in Victoria by SA2 from 2016 to 2019

Figure 4: Number of houses completed, Victoria SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 5: Number of townhouses completed, Victoria SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 5: Number of townhouses completed, Victoria SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 5: Number of townhouses completed, Victoria SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 6: Number of apartments completed, Victoria SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 6: Number of apartments completed, Victoria SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 6: Number of apartments completed, Victoria SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Queensland

Pimpama on the Gold Coast was the SA2 with the largest growth in houses, whilst the largest growth in townhouses was recorded in Inala-Richlands. The remainder of the top three highest-growth SA2s for houses and townhouses were located in outer suburbs both within and outside of Greater Brisbane. All of the top three highest-growth SA2s for apartments were located in the inner-city suburbs of Brisbane.
 

Table 6: SA2s with the highest number of houses, townhouses and apartments completed, Queensland, March 2016 quarter to December 2019 quarter  
SA2 CodeSA2 NameHouses completedTownhouses completedApartments completedTotal dwellings completed
Highest number of houses
309071257Pimpama3,93772304,661
311041321Jimboomba2,50613232,641
316021420Caloundra - West2,49138712,880
Highest number of townhouses
310011274Inala - Richlands14775912918
309071257Pimpama3,93772304,661
310011273Forest Lake - Doolandella35971601,075
Highest number of apartments
305031128Newstead - Bowen Hills17145,1095,140
305011110South Brisbane204,3374,339
305011112West End26962,2242,346
The sum of the components may not equal the total as the totals have been calculated using un-rounded figures.

Figures 7-9 demonstrate the distribution of houses, townhouses and apartments completed around Brisbane. 

Figure 7: Number of houses completed, Queensland SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 7: Number of houses completed, Queensland SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 7: Number of houses completed, Queensland SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 8: Number of townhouses completed, Queensland SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 8: Number of townhouses completed, Queensland SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 8: Number of townhouses completed, Queensland SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 9: Number of apartments completed, Queensland SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 9: Number of apartments completed, Queensland SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 9: Number of apartments completed, Queensland SA2s, 2016 to 2019

South Australia

The top three highest-growth SA2s for houses and townhouses were located in the outer and middle ring suburbs of Adelaide. In contrast, the top three highest-growth SA2s for apartments were all inner-city suburbs of Adelaide. 
 

Table 7: SA2s with the highest number of houses, townhouses and apartments completed, South Australia, March 2016 quarter to December 2019 quarter  
SA2 CodeSA2 NameHouses completedTownhouses completedApartments completedTotal dwellings completed
Highest number of houses
401021007Mount Barker1,2903541,328
402031037Northgate - Oakden - Gilles Plains1,1101431301,383
402021032Munno Para West - Angle Vale9412315979
Highest number of townhouses
401041015Paradise - Newton4284281621,018
403021064Warradale4063867799
403021062Morphettville49138214888
Highest number of apartments
401011001Adelaide8432,1682,219
404011093Hindmarsh - Brompton110151473734
401051017Norwood (SA)7631305412
The sum of the components may not equal the total as the totals have been calculated using un-rounded figures.

Figures 10-12 demonstrate the distribution of houses, townhouses and apartments completed around Adelaide.

Figure 10: Number of houses completed, South Australia SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 10: Number of houses completed, South Australia SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 10: Number of houses completed, South Australia SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 11: Number of townhouses completed, South Australia SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 11: Number of townhouses completed, South Australia SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 11: Number of townhouses completed, South Australia SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 12: Number of apartments completed, South Australia SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 12: Number of apartments completed, South Australia SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 12: Number of apartments completed, South Australia SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Western Australia

The top three highest-growth SA2s for houses were all located in the outer suburbs of Perth. The highest-growth SA2s for both townhouses and apartments were all located in the inner-city suburbs of Perth. Some overlap can be identified between high-growth SA2s for townhouses and apartments with Rivervale - Kewdale - Cloverdale represented in the top three ranking high-growth SA2s for both dwelling types. 
 

Table 8: SA2s with the highest number of houses, townhouses and apartments completed, Western Australia, March 2016 quarter to December 2019 quarter  
SA2 CodeSA2 NameHouses completedTownhouses completedApartments completedTotal dwellings completed
Highest number of houses
504031059Ellenbrook3,162139503,350
507051185Baldivis2,386561152,558
506011113Forrestdale - Harrisdale - Piara Waters2,1581792,184
Highest number of townhouses
505021090Nollamara - Westminster30060067967
506021122Rivervale - Kewdale - Cloverdale3345237641,622
505021088Innaloo - Doubleview319360113792
Highest number of apartments
503021041Perth City54312,8282,914
506021122Rivervale - Kewdale - Cloverdale3345237641,622
506021123Victoria Park - Lathlain - Burswood17670631877
The sum of the components may not equal the total as the totals have been calculated using un-rounded figures.

Figures 13-15 demonstrate the distribution of houses, townhouses and apartments completed around Perth.

Figure 13: Number of houses completed, Western Australia SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 13: Number of houses completed, Western Australia SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 13: Number of houses completed, Western Australia SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 14: Number of townhouses completed, Western Australia SA2s, 2016 to 2019

 Simple image Toggle Actions Figure 14: Number of townhouses completed, Western Australia SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 14: Number of townhouses completed, Western Australia SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 15: Number of apartments completed, Western Australia SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 15: Number of apartments completed, Western Australia SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 15: Number of apartments completed, Western Australia SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Tasmania

The highest-growth SA2s for both houses and townhouses were located within the outer suburbs of Hobart. Some overlap can be seen between houses and townhouses with Kingston - Huntingfield represented in the top three highest-growth SA2s for both dwelling types. The two highest-growth areas for apartments were located in the inner-city suburbs of Hobart, whilst the third-highest growth area was Bridgewater, an outer suburb which is also represented in the highest-growth SA2s for townhouses.  
 

Table 9: SA2s with the highest number of houses, townhouses and apartments completed, Tasmania, March 2016 quarter to December 2019 quarter  
SA2 CodeSA2 NameHouses completedTownhouses completedApartments completedTotal dwellings completed
Highest number of houses
601061035Sorell - Richmond340506395
601021011Rokeby316440360
601041022Kingston - Huntingfield136716372
Highest number of townhouses
601031017Glenorchy128760204
601041022Kingston - Huntingfield295716372
601011001Bridgewater - Gagebrook1365645237
Highest number of apartments
601051027Hobart3675296
601011001Bridgewater - Gagebrook1365645237
601051031Sandy Bay641141116
The sum of the components may not equal the total as the totals have been calculated using un-rounded figures.

Figures 16-18 demonstrate the distribution of houses, townhouses and apartments completed around Hobart.

Figure 16: Number of houses completed, Tasmania SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 16: Number of houses completed, Tasmania SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 16: Number of houses completed, Tasmania SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 17: Number of townhouses completed, Tasmania SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 17: Number of townhouses completed, Tasmania SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 17: Number of townhouses completed, Tasmania SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 18: Number of apartments completed, Tasmania SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 18: Number of apartments completed, Tasmania SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 18: Number of apartments completed, Tasmania SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Northern Territory

Palmerston-South is the SA2 which recorded the highest number of both house and townhouse completions. The highest-growth SA2 for apartments was Palmerston - North. These SA2s are both located in the inner suburbs of Darwin. One high-growth SA2 shared by houses and townhouses is Katherine in rural Northern Territory. The remainder of highest growth areas for houses, townhouses, and apartments were all located in the inner-city suburbs of Darwin.
 

Table 10: SA2s with the highest number of houses, townhouses and apartments completed, Northern Territory, March 2016 quarter to December 2019 quarter  
SA2 CodeSA2 NameHouses completedTownhouses completedApartments completedTotal dwellings completed
Highest number of houses
701041042Palmerston - South985139241,148
701021021Lyons (NT)348732422
702051067Katherine153760229
Highest number of townhouses
701041042Palmerston - South985139241,148
702051067Katherine153760229
701021021Lyons (NT)348732422
Highest number of apartments
701041041Palmerston - North524187216
701011004Fannie Bay - The Gardens58160173
701011002Darwin City03159162
The sum of the components may not equal the total as the totals have been calculated using un-rounded figures.

Figures 19-21 demonstrate the distribution of houses, townhouses and apartments completed around Darwin.

Figure 19: Number of houses completed, Northern Territory SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 19: Number of houses completed, Northern Territory SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 19: Number of houses completed, Northern Territory SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 20: Number of townhouses completed, Northern Territory SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 20: Number of townhouses completed, Northern Territory SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 20: Number of townhouses completed, Northern Territory SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 21: Number of apartments completed, Northern Territory SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 21: Number of apartments completed, Northern Territory SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 21: Number of apartments completed, Northern Territory SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Australian Capital Territory

The highest-growth SA2s for houses, townhouses, and apartments in the Australian Capital Territory were all located in the inner suburbs.
 

Table 11: SA2s with the highest number of houses, townhouses and apartments completed, Australian Capital Territory, March 2016 quarter to December 2019 quarter  
SA2 CodeSA2 NameHouses completedTownhouses completedApartments completedTotal dwellings completed
Highest number of houses
801041120Moncrieff9505581251,633
801041122Throsby4507725552
801101136Denman Prospect36629128523
Highest number of townhouses
801011018Lawson167824481,039
801101135Coombs2215993431,163
801041120Moncrieff9505581251,633
Highest number of apartments
801051051Braddon2211,0511,074
801041040Gungahlin812940960
801071080Greenway021886907
The sum of the components may not equal the total as the totals have been calculated using un-rounded figures.

Figures 22-24 demonstrate the distribution of houses, townhouses and apartments completed around Canberra.

Figure 22: Number of houses completed, Australian Capital Territory SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 22: Number of houses completed, Australian Capital Territory SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 22: Number of houses completed, Australian Capital Territory SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 23: Number of townhouses completed, Australian Capital Territory SA2s, 2016 to 2019

igure 23: Number of townhouses completed, Australian Capital Territory SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 23: Number of townhouses completed, Australian Capital Territory SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 24: Number of apartments completed, Australian Capital Territory SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 24: Number of apartments completed, Australian Capital Territory SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Figure 24: Number of apartments completed, Australian Capital Territory SA2s, 2016 to 2019

Methodology

About this release

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is working towards the development of quarterly estimates of small area dwelling stock, completions and demolitions for release in 2022. Dwelling stock statistics (the total number of dwellings in a given area at a point in time) are currently available from the Census of Population and Housing every five years. More frequent estimates of dwelling stock are valuable for economic and housing policy development and evaluation, and informing planning and service provision decisions. The newly developed statistics will contain quarterly estimates of demolitions, completions and stock at Local Government Area (LGA) and Statistical Area 2 (SA2) level between June 2016 and June 2021. 

Quarterly additions to stock (dwelling completions) are currently available at state level in the ABS publication Building Activity, Australia. To improve the small area information available, this release presents experimental estimates of dwellings completed by SA2 from the March 2016 quarter to the December 2019 quarter.

Removals from stock are currently a key data gap. To reduce this gap, ABS has released preliminary data on the number of dwellings approved for demolition (please see Small Area Demolition Approvals). 

The ABS is interested in receiving feedback from users on the suitability of this experimental data and the potential for producing ongoing quarterly estimates beyond 2022. If you have any feedback, please email construction@abs.gov.au.

Scope and coverage

Dwelling approvals have been sourced from the Building Approvals (BAPS) collection. BAPS is 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 scope of the BAPS collection includes residential building work valued at $10,000 or more and all non-residential building work valued at $50,000 or more. 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. For further information on the scope and coverage of this collection, see the BAPS methodology.

Dwelling completions have been sourced from the quarterly Building Activity Survey (BACS). BACS is a quarterly sample survey which uses the building approvals collected in BAPS as the selection frame. For building approvals selected in the BACS sample, data is collected quarterly from builders and other individuals engaged in building activity until the building job reaches completion or is abandoned. 

As of the September quarter 2010, the survey has consisted of:

  • an indirect, modelled component comprising residential building work with approval values from $10,000 to less than $50,000 and non-residential building work with approval values from $50,000 to less than $250,000. The contributions from these building jobs are modelled based on their building approval details.
  • a direct collection of all identified building work having approval values of $5,000,000 or more.
  • a sample survey, selected from other identified building work.

The statistics compiled from this collection are published quarterly at a state level in Building Activity, Australia. For further information on the scope and coverage of this collection please see the BACS methodology.

The scope of these small area estimates includes new work (creation of buildings which did not previously exist) and alterations and additions (activity carried out on existing buildings, which may result in the creation of a new dwelling) and both private and public sector owned dwellings.

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.

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.

Small area modelling methodology

The current Building Activity Survey (BACS) sample is designed to produce reliable estimates of building activity at a state level. As not all approved building jobs are selected in the BACS sample, building activity information (i.e. date of commencement and completion) is not collected for all jobs. Therefore, auxiliary data needs to be used to model the state level BACS estimates down to a smaller geographical area. 

These experimental estimates use SA2 level approvals from the Building Approvals collection to model the state level BACS estimates of dwellings completed down to SA2 level. 

Dwellings completed on directly collected building jobs in BACS are allocated to the SA2 that the associated building approval has been classified to. As per the 'scope and coverage' section above, these jobs include:

  • those with approval values of $5,000,000 or more
  • those with approval values of $50,000 or more that were selected in the BACS sample.

The remainder of the BACS dwelling completion estimates are proportionally allocated down from state level to SA2 level. A number of 'anticipated completions' is calculated for each state and SA2 by taking the approvals that were not selected in the BACS sample and allocating them to the quarter they are anticipated to complete using average times from approval to completion by state, dwelling type and financial year (for more information see Average Dwelling Commencement Times and Average Dwelling Completion Times). The proportion of anticipated completions within each SA2 is then applied to the state level BACS dwelling completion estimates, as follows:

SA2 modelled number of dwellings completed = (SA2 number of anticipated completions / State number of anticipated completions ) * State BACS estimate of dwellings completed 

Data quality

Estimates for building activity are based on a sample of approved building jobs and so they are subject to sampling error; that is, they may differ from the figures that would have been obtained if information for all approved jobs for the relevant period had been included in the survey. The estimates may also be subject to non-sampling error, such as inaccuracies that may occur because of inadequacies in the source of building approval information, imperfections in reporting by respondents, and errors made in the coding and processing of data. Details of the sampling error and non-sampling error of the Building Activity estimates are available in the Building Activity Methodology.

The small area modelling method has the following additional limitations:

  • The proportional allocation method used is based on 'anticipated completions'. These are calculated using average times taken from approval to completion and therefore will not be accurate for all approvals.
  • For some states/territories and dwelling types, the average times taken from approval to completion show high levels of volatility across financial years and variability across jobs. This makes it difficult to allocate approved jobs to an anticipated quarter of completion accurately. The average time data has been Winsorised to reduce the volatility. Options to reduce the variability in the average times are currently being investigated, such as finer output categories.
  • The rate of approvals which are abandoned (i.e. do not proceed to completion) are assumed to be uniform within existing BACS output classes by total state, dwelling type and quarter. For further information about abandonment rates in building activity statistics please see Abandonment Rates for New Dwellings
  • The method aims to ensure that the sum of the small area output by state equals the published state level BACS estimates. There are small inconsistencies in some states where the SA2-level dwelling completions do not sum to the state-level estimate. This will be rectified in future releases of the small area estimates. The BACS state-level estimates should continue to be used as the official figure of dwellings completed, rather than the sum of the SA2 figures. 

Future work

The ABS is investigating methods to improve this small area model, such as:

  • improving average commencement and completion times, for example using finer output categories to reduce variability; 
  • incorporating additional auxiliary data sources, for example aerial imagery and occupancy certificates issued by building approval authorities; and
  • including estimates of error at the small area level.

Data downloads

Statistical Area Level 2: Australia, 2016-2019 (.CSV)