Dwelling approvals fall, but private houses reach new high

Media Release

The number of dwellings approved fell 8.6 per cent in April (seasonally adjusted), following an 18.9 per cent rise in March, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The fall in the total number of dwellings approved in April was driven by private sector dwellings excluding houses, which fell 28.6 per cent.

Daniel Rossi, Director of Construction Statistics at the ABS, said: "While there was a fall in overall approvals, the April result highlights the continued strong demand for detached housing, with private sector house approvals reaching a new record high in April, up 4.6 per cent.

"Since the introduction of HomeBuilder in June 2020, private house approvals have risen 84 per cent, with South Australia hitting a new record high in April, and New South Wales reaching the highest level since December 1988."

The end of the HomeBuilder grant on 14 April 2021 did not have a material impact on the April building approvals data, as the building approval process typically occurs after the submission of the HomeBuilder application.

Total dwelling approvals rose in New South Wales (12.3 per cent), Western Australia (5.5 per cent) and South Australia (3.4 per cent), in seasonally adjusted terms. Total dwelling approvals fell in Victoria (-23.5 per cent), Queensland (-14.3 per cent) and Tasmania (-2.5 per cent). 

Approvals for private sector houses rose in New South Wales (30.1 per cent), Queensland (8.3 per cent), and South Australia (2.7 per cent), in seasonally adjusted terms. Meanwhile, falls were recorded in Victoria (-5.0 per cent) and Western Australia (-3.8 per cent). 

The value of total building approved decreased 22.6 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms. The value of total residential building fell 7.1 per cent, comprising a 7.6 per cent fall in new residential building and a 3.8 per cent fall in residential alterations and additions.

The value of non-residential building fell 43.2 per cent, mainly driven by a decrease in public sector approvals, following a record high reached in March.

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.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via media@abs.gov.au (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
  • Subscribe to our media release notification service to get notified of ABS media releases or publications upon their release.
  • "Private sector dwellings excluding houses" includes semi-detached, row or terrace houses, townhouses and apartments.
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