8731.0 - Building Approvals, Australia, Jan 2019 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/03/2019   
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4 March 2019
Embargoed 11:30am (AEDT)

Dwelling approvals decline in January in trend terms

The number of dwellings approved in Australia fell by 3.2 per cent in January 2019, in trend terms, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

"The trend for the total dwelling approvals series has steadily declined over the past year," said Justin Lokhorst, Director of Construction Statistics at the ABS. "The series is now at its lowest level since May 2013."

The decrease in January was driven by private sector dwellings excluding houses (e.g. townhouses and apartments), which fell 8.1 per cent in trend terms. Private sector houses also declined, by 0.4 per cent.

Among the states and territories, total dwelling approvals fell in January in the Australian Capital Territory (19.8 per cent), the Northern Territory (8.0 per cent), Victoria (4.5 per cent), Queensland (3.9 per cent), New South Wales (2.3 per cent) and South Australia (0.8 per cent) in trend terms. Western Australia (2.2 per cent) and Tasmania (1.4 per cent) recorded increases.

Approvals for private sector houses fell 0.4 per cent in January in trend terms. Queensland (1.4 per cent), New South Wales (0.6 per cent) and Victoria (0.3 per cent) declined, while increases were recorded in South Australia (2.3 per cent) and Western Australia (0.2 per cent).

In seasonally adjusted terms, total dwellings rose by 2.5 per cent in January, driven by rises in Western Australia (28.8 per cent), Tasmania (15.4 per cent) and New South Wales (12.0 per cent). Private dwellings excluding houses rose 2.7 per cent, while private houses also increased (by 2.1 per cent).

The value of total building approved fell 1.5 per cent in January, in trend terms, and has fallen for 14 months. The value of residential building fell 2.7 per cent, while non-residential building rose 0.4 per cent.

Further information is available in Building Approvals, Australia (cat no. 8731.0) on the ABS website at https://www.abs.gov.au.

Media note:
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