Small area dwelling demolition approvals

Preliminary data on the number of dwellings approved to be demolished from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter

Released
8/10/2021

Preface

Dwelling stock statistics are currently only 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 Australian Bureau of Statistics is currently developing a methodology for the production of quarterly estimates of small area dwelling stock for release in 2022. This article presents preliminary data on the number of dwellings approved for demolition from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter by Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2). 

If you have any feedback on these preliminary data and the potential for producing ongoing quarterly estimates beyond 2022, please email construction@abs.gov.au.

Key statistics

  • There were 114,323 dwellings approved to be demolished in the five-year period from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter.
  • 93.5% of all dwellings approved to be demolished were houses.
  • The March 2021 quarter had the largest number of dwelling demolition approvals (6,460 dwellings).
  • The states recording the largest numbers of dwellings approved to be demolished were Victoria (37,954 dwellings) and New South Wales (33,912 dwellings).

(a) South Australian dwelling demolition approvals have not been included for the June 2021 quarter. Refer to the Methodology section for more information.

In the five-year period from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter, there were 114,323 dwellings approved to be demolished in Australia. The lowest quarter was the March 2020 quarter (5,042 dwellings). The highest quarter was the March 2021 quarter (6,460 dwellings), followed by the June 2021 quarter (6,344 dwellings) and the December 2020 quarter (6,219 dwellings) - the three most recent quarters.

New South Wales

In the five-year period from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter, there were 33,192 dwellings approved to be demolished in New South Wales. The highest quarter was the June 2021 quarter (2,342 dwellings), followed by the March 2021 quarter (2,061 dwellings) and the December 2020 quarter (2,012 dwellings).

Areas with the largest number of dwelling demolitions approved, New South Wales
SA2HousesOther residentialTotal
Macquarie Park - Marsfield106369475
Panania - Milperra - Picnic Point4690469
Merrylands - Holroyd4263429
Eastwood - Denistone4012403
Ermington - Rydalmere3910391
Ryde35732389
Greystanes - Pemulwuy3635368
Miranda - Yowie Bay3577364
Guildford West - Merrylands West3489357
Wentworthville - Westmead30122323

The SA2 with the most dwelling demolitions approved in New South Wales from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter was Macquarie Park - Marsfield. In this area, there were 475 dwelling demolitions approved, 106 of which were houses and 369 of which were other residential dwellings. Other SA2s with high numbers of dwelling demolitions approved were Panania - Milperra - Picnic Point (469 dwellings), Merrylands - Holroyd (429 dwellings) and Eastwood - Denistone (403 dwellings).

Victoria

In the five-year period from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter, there were 37,954 dwellings approved to be demolished in Victoria. The highest quarter was the June 2021 quarter (2,261 dwellings), followed by the December 2017 quarter (2,115 dwellings) and the June 2018 quarter (2,059 dwellings).

Areas with the largest number of dwelling demolitions approved, Victoria
SA2HousesOther residentialTotal
Heidelberg West390173563
Bentleigh - McKinnon4497456
Brighton317134451
Balwyn North4332435
Bentleigh East (North)4132415
Keilor East4130413
Mount Waverley - South4010401
Ashwood - Chadstone4000400
Glen Waverley - West3952397
Pascoe Vale38412396

The SA2 with the most dwelling demolitions approved in Victoria from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter was Heidelberg West. In this area, there were 563 dwelling demolitions approved, 390 of which were houses and 173 of which were other residential dwellings. Other SA2s with high numbers of dwelling demolitions approved were Bentleigh - McKinnon (456 dwellings), Brighton (451 dwellings) and Balwyn North (435 dwellings).

Queensland

In the five-year period from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter, there were 13,714 dwellings approved to be demolished in Queensland. The highest quarter was the June 2021 quarter (972 dwellings), followed by the March 2021 quarter (824 dwellings) and the September 2020 quarter (785 dwellings).

Areas with the largest number of dwelling demolitions approved, Queensland
SA2HousesOther residentialTotal
Palm Beach19330223
Surfers Paradise14761208
Camp Hill1960196
Mermaid Beach - Broadbeach9770167
Tarragindi1590159
Morningside - Seven Hills14311154
Wavell Heights1520152
Wynnum12229151
Maroochydore - Kuluin13018148
Mount Gravatt1460146

The SA2 with the most dwelling demolitions approved in Queensland from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter was Palm Beach. In this area, there were 223 dwelling demolitions approved, 193 of which were houses and 30 of which were other residential dwellings. Other SA2s with high numbers of dwelling demolitions approved were Surfers Paradise (208 dwellings), Camp Hill (196 dwellings) and Mermaid Beach - Broadbeach (167 dwellings).

South Australia

(a) Dwelling demolition approvals for the June 2021 quarter have not been included. Refer to the Methodology section for more information.

In the five-year period from the September 2016 quarter to the March 2021 quarter, there were 12,120 dwellings approved to be demolished in South Australia. The highest quarter was the September 2020 quarter (843 dwellings), followed by the March 2021 quarter (778 dwellings) and the September 2017 quarter (774 dwellings).

Areas with the largest number of dwelling demolitions approved, South Australia
SA2HousesOther residentialTotal
Rostrevor - Magill47627503
Paradise - Newton42725452
Warradale40922431
Plympton37928407
Morphettville36724391
Enfield - Blair Athol28862350
Flinders Park31234346
Windsor Gardens3222324
Henley Beach25156307
Edwardstown23954293

The SA2 with the most dwelling demolitions approved in South Australia from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter was Rostrevor - Magill. In this area, there were 503 dwelling demolitions approved, 476 of which were houses and 27 of which were other residential dwellings. Other SA2s with high numbers of dwelling demolitions approved were Paradise - Newton (452 dwellings), Warradale (431 dwellings) and Plympton (407 dwellings).

Western Australia

In the five-year period from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter, there were 12,585 dwellings approved to be demolished in Western Australia. The highest quarter was the March 2019 quarter (915 dwellings), followed by the December 2020 quarter (831 dwellings) and the September 2020 quarter (816 dwellings).

Areas with the largest number of dwelling demolitions approved, Western Australia
SA2HousesOther residentialTotal
Bentley - Wilson - St James213309522
Riverton - Shelley - Rossmoyne28624310
Rivervale - Kewdale - Cloverdale3007307
Nollamara - Westminster2474251
Melville2329241
Applecross - Ardross18651237
Bayswater - Embleton - Bedford2341235
Innaloo - Doubleview21916235
Booragoon22312235
Dianella2205225

The SA2 with the most dwelling demolitions approved in Western Australia from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter was Bentley - Wilson - St James. In this area, there were 522 dwelling demolitions approved, 213 of which were houses and 309 of which were other residential dwellings. Other SA2s with high numbers of dwelling demolitions approved were Riverton - Shelley - Rossmoyne (310 dwellings), Rivervale - Kewdale - Cloverdale (307 dwellings) and Nollamara - Westminster (251 dwellings).

Tasmania

In the five-year period from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter, there were 490 dwellings approved to be demolished in Tasmania. The highest quarter was the December 2017 quarter (52 dwellings), followed by the September 2017 quarter (38 dwellings) and the September 2018 quarter (37 dwellings).

Areas with the largest number of dwelling demolitions approved, Tasmania
SA2HousesOther residentialTotal
Lindisfarne - Rose Bay94150
Devonport38846
Bridgewater - Gagebrook19221
Berriedale - Chigwell31417
Launceston17017

The SA2 with the most dwelling demolitions approved in Tasmania from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter was Lindisfarne - Rose Bay. In this area, there were 50 dwelling demolitions approved, 9 of which were houses and 41 of which were other residential dwellings. Devonport also had a high number of dwelling demolitions approved (46 dwellings).

Northern Territory

In the five-year period from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter, there were 348 dwellings approved to be demolished in the Northern Territory. The highest quarter was the June 2020 quarter (82 dwellings), followed by the September 2018 and June 2021 quarters (both 35 dwellings).

Areas with the largest number of dwelling demolitions approved, Northern Territory
SA2HousesOther residentialTotal
Nightcliff78078
Moulden43236
Gulf21324
Mount Johns14115
Victoria River13013

The SA2 with the most dwelling demolitions approved in Northern Territory from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter was Nightcliff. In this area, there were 78 dwelling demolitions approved, all of which were houses. Other SA2s with high numbers of dwelling demolitions approved were Moulden (36 dwellings) and Gulf (24 dwellings).

Australian Capital Territory

In the five-year period from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter, there were 3,200 dwellings approved to be demolished in the Australian Capital Territory. The highest quarter was the September 2019 quarter (469 dwellings), followed by the June 2017 quarter (355 dwellings) and the September 2018 quarter (326 dwellings). Quarterly spikes in the territory are often driven by approvals to demolish large public housing apartment blocks.

Areas with the largest number of dwelling demolitions approved, Australian Capital Territory
SA2HousesOther residentialTotal
Braddon16220236
Reid5228233
Griffith47146193
Turner37142179
Narrabundah9872170

The SA2 with the most dwelling demolitions approved in the Australian Capital Territory from the September 2016 quarter to the June 2021 quarter was Braddon. In this area, there were 236 dwelling demolitions approved, 16 of which were houses and 220 of which were other residential dwellings. Other SA2s with high numbers of dwelling demolitions approved were Reid (233 dwellings) and Griffith (193 dwellings).

Methodology

Data notes

The data covers only dwellings which have been approved to be fully demolished by a local council or other approving authority (see 'Scope and coverage' for more information).

The data do not represent actual demolitions taking place (i.e. it does not account for demolitions that were approved but did not go ahead, or for the time lag between approval and actual demolition). The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is developing a method to estimate 'realised' demolitions (i.e. the dwelling approved for demolition is actually demolished) and investigating ways to account for other removals from stock that do not require approval.

The data are not inclusive of South Australian dwelling demolition approvals for the June 2021 quarter. On 19 March 2021, the state entered the final phase of its new planning system, impacting upon the ABS' receipt of demolition approvals. Legislation changed such that demolition approvals are no longer required in South Australia, unless the dwelling falls within a historic zone, heritage area, or place that is otherwise regarded to be of heritage. The ABS is currently investigating alternate sources on which to base demolition estimates for South Australia.

The data are classified to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) at Statistical Area Level 2 and Local Government Area levels. Further information on the classification structures for which dwelling demolition approvals are available in the article is contained in:

Scope and coverage

Approvals for dwelling demolitions have been sourced 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.

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 intended for long-term residential use, including cooking and bathing facilities. 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
  • 'Other residential' - defined as dwellings that are attached to other dwellings in some structural way

Data downloads

Statistical Area Level 2, September quarter 2016 to June quarter 2021

Local Government Area, September quarter 2016 to June quarter 2021