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