Dwelling approvals record sharp drop in January

Media Release
Released
3/03/2022

The total number of dwellings approved fell 27.9 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms in January, following a 9.8 per cent rise in December, 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 January was driven by a large fall for private sector dwellings excluding houses, which fell 43.6 per cent.

"Approvals for private sector houses also declined sharply, falling 17.5 per cent in January, following a 0.3 per cent decline in December. The series has now returned closer to historic levels, with the January result 0.8 per cent higher than the pre-pandemic level in January 2020. 

Across Australia, the number of dwelling approvals fell in Victoria (-35.5 per cent), South Australia (-29.2 per cent), New South Wales (-25.9 per cent), Western Australia (-19.9 per cent) and Tasmania (-13.9 per cent). Dwelling approvals rose slightly in Queensland (0.5 per cent), in seasonally adjusted terms.

Approvals for private sector houses fell in all mainland states: South Australia (-19.9 per cent), Victoria (-18.6 per cent), Western Australia (-16.5 per cent), Queensland (-15.7 per cent), and New South Wales (-14.0 per cent), in seasonally adjusted terms.

The value of total building approved fell 27.7 per cent in January, in seasonally adjusted terms. The decrease was driven by a fall in the value of non-residential building approved (-36.8 per cent), following a 15.0 per cent decline in December.

The value of total residential building fell 22.8 per cent, comprised of a 24.9 per cent decline in the value of new residential building, and a 10.3 per cent fall in the value of alterations and additions.

Further information is available in Building Approvals, Australia

'Dwelling units approved, by building type, seasonally adjusted

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.