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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
March 2021
Released
14/07/2021

Key statistics

  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for the total number of dwelling units commenced rose 0.2%.
  • New private sector house commencements rose 5.9% to 35,869 dwellings.
  • New private sector other residential commencements fell 11.3% to 14,667 dwellings.
  • The value of total building work done rose 3.0% to $30.4b.

Number of dwellings commenced

 

 Mar qtr 21
no.
Dec qtr 20 to Mar qtr 21
% change
Mar qtr 20 to Mar qtr 21
% change

Seasonally adjusted estimates

Total dwelling units commenced51,6620.213.1
New private sector houses35,8695.940.2
New private sector other residential building14,667-11.3-23.8

 

 

The total number of dwelling units commenced in Australia rose 0.2% to 51,662 dwellings in the March quarter, in seasonally adjusted terms. The rise was driven by private sector houses, which rose 5.9% to a 20 year high of 35,869 and follows a rise of 27.1% in the December quarter. Private sector other residential dwelling commencements fell 11.3% to 14,667 dwellings and follows a rise of 7.2% in the December quarter.

Value of work done

Chain volume measures

 Mar qtr 21
$m
Dec qtr 20 to Mar qtr 21
% change
Mar qtr 20 to Mar qtr 21
% change

Seasonally adjusted estimates(a)

Total value of work done30,386.23.0-1.1
New residential building16,198.84.82.6
Alterations and additions to residential building2,857.711.418.5
Non-residential building11,329.8-1.4-9.6

a. Reference year for chain volume measures is 2018-19

 

Reference year for chain volume measures is 2018-19

Reference year for chain volume measures is 2018-19

The value of total building work done rose 3.0% to $30.4b in the March quarter, in seasonally adjusted terms. The rise was driven by new residential building work done, which rose 4.8% to $16.2b. Work done on new houses rose 12.1% to $10.1b, while new other residential building fell 5.2% to $6.1b. Non-residential building work done fell 1.4% to $11.3b.

Data downloads

File contents

Formulas

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

The Building Activity: Australia pivot table contains the following data items
Data itemClassification
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
 Apartments - In a one or two storey block
 Apartments - In a three storey block
 Apartments - In a four to eight storey block
 Apartments - Nine or more storeys
 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.)

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Data cubes

The Building Activity: Australia datacube contains original current price data at finer levels of building type than is available in the Time series spreadsheets.

Data files

Notes

About this issue

This publication updates the preliminary estimates released in Construction Work Done, Australia on 26 May 2021. 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 March 2021 quarter will be released in the next release of this publication, Building Activity, Australia on 13 October 2021.

Significant revisions this issue

Compared to the estimate published in Building Activity, Australia December 2020 released on 14 April 2021:

  • the total value of work done in Australia during the December 2020 quarter has been revised upwards by $189.9m or 0.6% (original, current price). 
  • the total value of work commenced in Australia during the December 2020 quarter has been revised upwards $1,386.3m or 4.5% (original, current price). This was driven by an upward revision to total non-residential commencements of $940.5m (8.8%), and an upward revision to total residential commencements of $445.8m (2.2%).
  • the number of dwelling unit commencements in the December 2020 quarter has been revised upwards by 719.5 dwellings or 1.4% (original).

Classification update

An update to the ABS' Functional Classification of Buildings (FCB) was published on 21 January 2021. The updated classification has been adopted in this release (March 2021) of Building Activity. There is no impact on headline series, such as the number of houses, other residential dwellings or total dwellings commenced.

The updated classification splits "Flats, units or apartments - in a four or more storey block" into two categories: "Apartments - in a four to eight storey block" and "Apartments - in a nine or more storey block". Original Current Price data for apartments by number of storeys is available in the data cube Building Activity: Australia. The time series spreadsheets and their series identifiers remain unchanged as apartment data is only available at the total apartments level. 

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.

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. 

Update to seasonal adjustment methods

Building Activity uses the concurrent seasonal adjustment method, meaning that seasonal factors are re-estimated each time a new data point becomes available. If not appropriately accounted for, unusual real-world events, such as COVID-19, can distort estimates calculated using this method.

From September 2020, seasonal factors are being calculated using data up to and including June 2020, then projected from September 2020 onwards, for:

  •  Private and total sector non-residential building work done in Victoria.

From December 2020, seasonal factors are being calculated using data up to and including September 2020, then projected from December 2020 onwards, for:

  • New houses and alterations and additions to residential commencement series in all states and territories.

From March 2021, seasonal factors are being calculated using data up to and including December 2020, then projected from March 2021 onwards, for:

  • Private and total sector non-residential building work done in Queensland, and
  • new houses and alterations and additions to residential work done series in all states and territories.

This approach, known as the forward factor method, ensures that the seasonal factors are not distorted by COVID-19 impacts.

Inquiries

For inquiries about these and related statistics, contact the Customer Assistance Service via the ABS website Contact Us page. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 8752.0.