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Residential building involves the construction of dwelling units, including new houses, new other residential buildings (flats, apartments, villa units, townhouses, duplexes, etc.), and dwellings created as part of alterations and additions to existing buildings (including conversions to dwelling units). Building approvals are used as a key indicator of future activity, as nearly all building activity must be approved by local and/or other authorities.
The major component of dwelling unit approvals is new houses, as shown in table 19.12. New house approvals accounted for 67% of total dwelling unit approvals in 2003-04, up from 65.6% in 2002-03. New other residential dwelling units and conversions both experienced a decrease in number of approvals in 2003-04, of 2.2% and 34.1% respectively.
New other residential building approvals
Other residential building refers to structures other than houses, which are built for accommodation purposes. This includes buildings such as blocks of flats, units and apartments, and semi-detached houses and townhouses.
Prior to 1996-97 approvals for semi-detached houses/townhouses and the like were greater than for flats, units and apartments. From 1996-97 the number of approvals for flats, units and apartments has consistently exceeded approvals for semi-detached houses/row/terrace/townhouses and the like.
In 2003-04 the number of approvals for flats, units and apartments decreased by 9.4% following increases in 2001-02 and 2002-03. It is still the major component of new other residential approvals contributing 60% of all approvals. Approvals for semi-detached houses/row/terrace/townhouses and the like increased by 10% in 2003-04 (graph 19.13).
Table 19.14 provides more details of the types of other residential dwelling units approved. In 2002-03 new semi detached, row or terrace houses, townhouses and the like, showed increases in both one storey (12%) and two or more storeys (9%) approvals. New flats, units or apartments building approvals, despite decreasing overall in 2002-03, increased for one or two storeys by 21%. Approvals for new flats, units or apartments with four storeys or more, accounted for 42% of new other residential building approvals in 2003-04, down from 48% in 2002-03.
Residential building work done
In 2003-04 the value of total building work done increased by $2,898m (6.2%) to $49,982m, with both total new residential buildings and non-residential buildings increasing by $1,420m (5.2%) and $933m (6.2%) respectively (table 19.15).
Estimates of alterations and additions to residential buildings include all approved building activity carried out on existing residential buildings, valued at $10,000 or more. Although the value of alterations and additions to residential buildings is small compared with the value of new residential buildings, work done on alterations and additions to residential buildings was valued at $5,306m in 2003-04, an increase of 11% from 2002-03.