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Building Activity, Australia

Provides estimates of value of building work and number of dwellings commenced, completed, under construction and in the pipeline

Reference period
June 2020
Released
14/10/2020
Future releases
  • Building Activity, Australia
    Next Release 20/01/2021
  • Building Activity, Australia
    Next Release 14/04/2021
  • View all releases

Key statistics

  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for the total number of dwelling units commenced fell 5.6%.
  • New private sector house commencements fell 0.8% to 25,397 dwellings, while private sector other residential commencements fell 14.1% to 15,966 dwellings.
  • The value of total building work done fell 3.8%.

Main features

Dwelling units commenced

 Jun qtr 20Mar qtr 20 to Jun qtr 20Jun qtr 19 to Jun qtr 20
 no.% change% change
Seasonally adjusted estimates
Total dwelling units commenced
42 448
-5.6
-8.0
New private sector houses
25 397
-0.8
-1.7
New private sector other residential building
15 966
-14.1-17.3
   
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The total number of dwelling units commenced in Australia fell 5.6% in the June 2020 quarter, in seasonally adjusted terms. The fall was driven by private sector other residential dwellings, which fell 14.1% to 15,966 dwellings in the June quarter following a rise of 8.2% in the March quarter. Private sector house commencements fell 0.8% to 25,397 dwellings in the June quarter following a rise of 2.6% in the March quarter.  

Value of work done, chain volume measures

 Jun qtr 20Mar qtr 20 to Jun qtr 20Jun qtr 19 to Jun qtr 20
 $m% change% change
Seasonally adjusted estimates(a)
Total value of work done28 626.1-3.8-4.8
New residential building14 587.7-4.9-12.5
Alterations and additions to residential building2 232.2-5.2-0.8
Non-residential building11 806.2
-2.1
6.0
a. Reference year for chain volume measures is 2017-18

 
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The value of total building work done fell 3.8% in the June 2020 quarter, in seasonally adjusted terms. The fall was driven by new residential building work done, which fell 4.9% to $14,587.7m. Work done on new houses fell 4.7%, while new other residential building fell 5.1%. Non-residential building work done also fell 2.1% in the June quarter following a rise of 2.8% in the March quarter.

About this issue

This publication updates the preliminary estimates released in Construction Work Done, Australia on 26 August 2020. The data in this publication are based on a response rate of approximately 90% of the value of building work done during the quarter. The data are subject to revision when returns from the following quarter are processed. Final data for the June quarter 2020 will be released in the next release of this publication, Building Activity, Australia on 20 January 2021.

Significant revisions this issue

Compared to the estimate published in Building Activity, Australia March 2020 released on 15 July 2020:

  • the total value of work done in Australia during the March 2020 quarter has been revised upwards by $772.5m or 2.8% (original, current price)
  • the total value of work commenced in Australia during the March 2020 quarter has been revised upwards $1,119.7m or 4.1% (original, current price). This was driven by an upward revision to total non-residential commencements of $642.4m (5.8%), and an upward revision to total residential commencements of $477.3m (3.0%).
  • the number of dwelling unit commencements in the March 2020 quarter has been revised upwards by 993 dwellings or 2.4% (original).

Data note

Several time series spreadsheets contain 'np' (not available for publication) annotations from the September quarter 2012 onwards. This is due to confidential data being contained in these series.

Managing the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on building activity statistics

The ABS is currently monitoring for potential impacts from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on building activity statistics and will continue to do so for the period of the pandemic.

Quality assurance of June quarter data did not identify any significant impact to headline statistics. The designation of construction as an essential service enabled activity to progress despite social distancing restrictions implemented from late March. Since it takes some time to approve and commence an application for building construction work, there will be a lag between any change in demand, the number of applications and subsequent impacts on new work.

The ABS is actively managing the potential risks from COVID-19 to data collection operations. The ABS appreciates the support of survey respondents in continuing to provide the data to compile this publication.

Suspension of trend series

The trend series attempts to measure underlying behaviour in construction activity. This measurement will be significantly affected by changes to regular patterns in activity during this time, as the construction industry faces on-going uncertainty. If the trend estimates in this publication were to be calculated without fully accounting for this irregular event, they would likely provide a misleading view of underlying building activity.

It may be some time before the underlying trend in building activity can be accurately estimated. The trend series have therefore been suspended starting from June 2020. The trend series will be reinstated when more certainty emerges in the underlying trend. 

Inquiries

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.

Feature articles

This release includes two feature articles 'Building a New Home: Construction Cost Changes' and 'Small Area Dwelling Completions', which can be accessed in the 'Articles' section below.

Updated data for the most recent financial year on average commencement times, average completion times and abandonment rates for new dwellings can be found in the 'Data downloads - data cubes' section of this release. For more information about these data please see the previously released feature articles linked in the 'Article archive' below.

Data downloads - time series spreadsheets

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Data downloads - data cubes

I-note

File contents

Building Activity, States and Territories, from Sep qtr 2001 contains state level data from September 2001.

Classifications - Building Activity, States and Territories, from Sep qtr 2001

State/TerritoryAll States and Territories
Reference quarterQuarterly (September 2001 to current)
Sector of ownershipPrivate, Public, Total
Type of buildingHouses
 Semi-detached, row or terrace houses, townhouses - One storey
 Semi-detached, row or terrace houses, townhouses - Two or more storeys
 Semi-detached, row or terrace houses, townhouses - Total
 Flats units or apartments - In a one or two storey block
 Flats units or apartments - In a three storey block
 Flats units or apartments - Total including those attached to a house
 Total other residential
 Total residential
 Retail and wholesale trade buildings
 Transport buildings
 Offices
 Commercial buildings n.e.c
 Commercial buildings - Total
 Factories and other secondary production buildings
 Warehouses
 Agricultural and aquacultural buildings
 Other industrial buildings n.e.c.
 Industrial buildings - Total
 Education buildings
 Religious buildings
 Aged care facilities
 Health buildings
 Entertainment and recreation buildings
 Short term accommodation buildings
 Other non-residential n.e.c.
 Other non-residential - Total
 Total non-residential
 Dwellings excluding new residential
 Dwellings excluding houses
 Total
Type of workNew
 Total alterations and additions (incl. refurbishment and conversion)
 Total
Data itemsValue of work done during quarter ($m)
 Value of work yet to be done ($m)
 Value of work in pipeline ($m)
 Value of work not yet commenced ($m)
 Value of work commenced ($m)
 Value of work completed ($m)
 Value of work under construction ($m)
 Dwelling units not yet commenced (no.)
 Dwelling units commenced (no.)
 Dwelling units completed (no.)
 Dwelling units under construction (no.)

Formula

Type of work

Total = New + Total alterations/additions (incl. refurb and conversion)

Type of building

Total residential building = Total houses + Total other residential building
Non-house building = Total other residential building + Total non-residential building
Total building = Total residential building + Total non-residential building
Total building = Total houses + Non-house building

Relative standard errors, value by sector, stage and type of construction; state and Australia

Relative standard errors, dwellings by sector, stage and type of construction; state and Australia

Relative standard errors; non-residential building by sector and stage of construction, state and Australia

Relative standard errors; value of work in pipeline; state and Australia

Building activity: validation table for data cube

Data items available by Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)

Building activity: Australia

Building Activity Abandonment rates for new dwellings

Building Activity Average dwelling commencement times

Building Activity Average dwelling completion times

All data cubes

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 8752.0.