Approvals for apartments plunge in May

Media Release
Released
1/07/2020

The number of dwellings approved fell 16.4 per cent in May, in seasonally adjusted terms, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

"The decline was driven by private sector dwellings excluding houses, which fell 34.9 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms. The number of dwellings approved in apartment buildings fell sharply, to an 11-year low," said Daniel Rossi, Director of Construction Statistics at the ABS. "Meanwhile, private sector houses fell modestly in May, by 4.4 per cent."

"While minor effects of COVID-19 are apparent in the headline Building Approvals results, the fall in apartment approvals was broadly expected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic."

Dwelling approvals fell across all states, in seasonally adjusted terms. Double-digit falls were recorded in Tasmania (23.3 per cent), Victoria (14.3 per cent) and New South Wales (11.3 per cent), while South Australia (9.3 per cent), Western Australia (8.9 per cent) and Queensland (7.4 per cent), also declined.

Approvals for private sector houses fell in Queensland (9.9 per cent), Western Australia (7.9 per cent) and Victoria (3.9 per cent), in seasonally adjusted terms. South Australia bucked the national movement in May, increasing 7.1 per cent, while New South Wales rose slightly (1.0 per cent).

The value of total building approved fell 13.5 per cent in May, in seasonally adjusted terms. The value of residential building fell 17.3 per cent, while non-residential building declined 7.1 per cent.

Further information is available in Building Approvals, Australia (cat no. 8731.0).

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