Dwelling approvals decline in May

Media Release
Released
5/07/2021

The number of dwellings approved fell 7.1 per cent in May (seasonally adjusted), following a 5.7 per cent decline in April, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Daniel Rossi, ABS Director of Construction Statistics, said: "The fall in the total number of dwellings approved in May was driven by a 10.3 per cent fall in private sector houses.

"Although we saw a decline in private sector house approvals in May, this came off the back of the record high in April. Private house approvals remain at elevated levels and are 55 per cent higher than May 2020 and 57 per cent higher than May 2019," he said.

Across Australia, the number of dwelling approvals fell in Queensland (-13.1 per cent), South Australia (-11.9 per cent), New South Wales (-10.9 per cent) and Western Australia (-8.7 per cent), in seasonally adjusted terms. Dwelling approvals rose in Victoria (3.2 per cent) and Tasmania (2.0 per cent).

Approvals for private sector houses fell across all mainland states: Western Australia (-18.0 per cent), South Australia (-16.9 per cent), Queensland (-13.8 per cent), Victoria (-5.8 per cent) and New South Wales (-4.6 per cent), in seasonally adjusted terms.

The value of total building rose 4.5 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms. The value of non-residential building rose 28.5 per cent, driven by a large rise in public sector projects approved in May, following a 38.5 per cent fall in April. 

The value of total residential building fell 6.7 per cent, comprising a 5.8 per cent fall in new residential building and a 12.7 per cent fall in residential alterations and additions.

Further information is available in Building Approvals, Australia.

Media notes

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
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  • "Private sector dwellings excluding houses" includes semi-detached, row or terrace houses, townhouses and apartments.