Building Approvals, Australia

Latest release

Provides the number of dwelling units and value of buildings approved

Reference period
December 2023
Released
1/02/2024
  • Next Release 4/03/2024
    Building Approvals, Australia, January 2024
  • Next Release 12/03/2024
    Building Approvals, Australia, January 2024
  • Next Release 4/04/2024
    Building Approvals, Australia, February 2024
  • View all releases

Key statistics

The December 2023 seasonally adjusted estimate: 

  • Total dwellings approved fell 9.5%, to 13,085.
  • Private sector houses fell 0.5%, to 8,416, while private sector dwellings excluding houses fell 25.3%, to 4,354.
  • The value of new residential building fell 3.8%, to $6.03b.
  • The value of non-residential building fell 10.6%, to $4.32b.

Dwellings approved

  1. Trend break added to 'Total dwelling units approved' trend series for February 2021

The seasonally adjusted estimate for the number of dwellings approved fell 9.5%, after a 0.3% November rise.

The trend estimate for total dwellings approved fell 0.1%, following a 0.7% November decrease.

  1. Trend break added to 'Private sector houses' trend series for February 2021

The seasonally adjusted estimate for private sector house approvals fell 0.5%, following a 4.3% decline in November. Private sector dwellings excluding houses approved fell 25.3%, following a 7.5% November increase.

The trend estimate for private sector house approvals rose 0.1%, following a 0.3% increase in November. Private sector dwellings excluding houses fell 0.2%, following a 2.2% November fall.

Seasonally adjusted summary, by state

Approvals for total dwellings were mixed. Falls were recorded in Victoria (-18.4%), South Australia (-11.8%), and Tasmania (-2.7%). Meanwhile, Queensland (8.2%), Western Australia (7.9%), and New South Wales (2.0%) rose.

Approvals for private sector houses fell in South Australia (-5.3%), New South Wales (-2.6%), and Queensland (-0.4%), while rises were recorded in Western Australia (2.2%) and Victoria (1.2%).

Dwellings approved, states and territories, seasonally adjusted
 Private sector housesPrivate sector housesTotal dwelling units approvedTotal dwelling units approved
(no.)Monthly change (%)(no.)Monthly change (%)
New South Wales1,765-2.63,4582.0
Victoria2,8671.24,075-18.4
Queensland1,666-0.42,7278.2
South Australia717-5.3841-11.8
Western Australia1,1252.21,3257.9
Tasmanianana177-2.7
Northern Territorynananana
Australian Capital Territorynananana
Australia8,416-0.513,085-9.5

Trend summary, by state

The number of dwellings approved fell in Tasmania (-4.3%), Queensland (-2.1%), South Australia (-1.9%), and Victoria (-1.8%). Australian Capital Territory (5.2%), New South Wales (3.2%), and Western Australia (1.6%) increased in December, while Northern Territory was flat. 

Approvals for private sector houses rose in Western Australia (1.8%) and Victoria (1.4%), while falls were recorded in Queensland (-1.3%), New South Wales (-1.1%), and South Australia (-0.7%), in trend terms.

Dwellings approved, states and territories, trend
 Private sector housesPrivate sector housesTotal dwelling units approvedTotal dwelling units approved
(no.)Monthly change (%)(no.)Monthly change (%)
New South Wales1,820-1.13,5023.2
Victoria2,8761.44,545-1.8
Queensland1,703-1.32,691-2.1
South Australia744-0.7895-1.9
Western Australia1,1351.81,2961.6
Tasmanianana202-4.3
Northern Territorynana360.0
Australian Capital Territorynana4835.2
Australia8,5740.113,654-0.1

Value of building approved

  1. Trend break added to 'Total residential' trend series for September 2020 and February 2021.

Value of building approved, seasonally adjusted

The value of total building approved fell 6.4%, following an 10.4% decrease in November. The value of total residential building fell 3.7%, comprised of an 3.8% decrease in new residential building and a 2.8% fall in alterations and additions. 

The value of non-residential building fell 10.6%, after a 19.8% fall in November.

Value of building approved, trend

The trend estimate for the value of total building approved fell 1.6%, after a 2.3% November decrease. The value of total residential building rose 0.6%, comprised of a 0.8% rise in new residential building and a 0.6% fall in alterations and additions.

The value of non-residential building fell 4.6%, following a 5.2% decrease in November.

Value of building approved, by building type
 Seasonally adjustedSeasonally adjustedTrendTrend
($m)Monthly change (%)($m)Monthly change (%)
New residential building6,029-3.86,1990.8
Alterations and additions to residential building998-2.81,025-0.6
Total residential building7,026-3.77,2230.6
Non-residential building4,322-10.64,895-4.6
Total building11,348-6.412,118-1.6

Interactive map

Upcoming decommission of Building Approvals map

The interactive map will be removed from the January 2024 publication. Users can still access the data contained within the map from the Small Area datacubes, or by going to Digital Atlas of Australia (https://digital.atlas.gov.au/) where historical building approval data can be found within the ABS Economy and Industry theme, and as an annual time series. If you have any concerns, please contact us using the green Feedback button on the right hand side of this publication.

Building approvals data can be viewed on an interactive map.

Note that the interactive map will be offline soon after this publication release and will be refreshed with the current month's data within 24 hours.

How to use

  • Navigating topics: maps can be selected via the drop-down menu (mobile devices) or the tabs (larger screens).
  • Search: the search icon opens the search function. It is set to look for locations such as addresses, suburbs and postcodes contained within an SA2 or LGA.
  • Data: on each map, an SA2 or LGA region can be selected to view the underlying data. Data for all SA2s and LGAs can be found in the Download section of this publication.
  • If the maps do not load successfully, please try refreshing this page.

Geographic areas

The boundaries used in this map are:

Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) and Local Government Area (LGA) boundaries according to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Edition 3

 

Data downloads

Dwellings approved

Data files

Value of building approved

Data files

Non-residential building approved

Data files

Chain volume measures

Data files
Data files

Small area datacubes

Data items

Building Approvals: Data items available by Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)

Data files
Data files
Data files
Data files
Data files
Data files
Data files
Data files

Validation table

Building Approvals: Data cube validation table

Small area approvals (.csv)

Statistical Area Level 2

Data files

Local Government Area

Data files

Demolition approvals

Data files

Data Explorer datasets

Caution: Data in the Data Explorer is currently released after the 11:30am release on the ABS website. Please check the time period when using Data Explorer.

Help for: Data Explorer Datasets

Building Approvals by Greater Capital Cities Statistical Area (GCCSA) and above - Number and value of approvals, monthly, July 2001 onwards

Building Approvals by Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) and above - Number and value of approvals, monthly, July 2016 - June 2021

Building Approvals by Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) and above - Number and value of approvals, monthly, July 2021 onwards

Building Approvals by Local Government Area (LGA 2022) - Number and value of approvals, monthly, 2022/23

Building Approvals by Local Government Area (LGA 2023) - Number and value of approvals, monthly, 2023/24

Upcoming decommission of GeoPackages

The GeoPackages will be removed from the January 2024 publication. Users can still access the data contained within the GeoPackages from the Small Area datacubes, or by going to Digital Atlas of Australia (https://digital.atlas.gov.au/) where historical building approval data can be found within the ABS Economy and Industry theme, and as an annual time series. If you have any concerns, please contact us using the green Feedback button on the right hand side of this publication.

GeoPackages

Data files

Dwellings revised by state

In this release, revisions are provided for the time period from July 2022 to November 2023. Further information about potential sources of revisions can be found in the feature article released with the with the January 2016 Building Approvals publication - "Revisions to Building Approval Statistics".

Revisions to the total number of dwelling units approved in this issue are:

Dwellings revised
 2022-232023-24
New South Wales-1-26
Victoria4-1
Queensland4597
South Australia-130
Western Australia535
Tasmania--
Northern Territory-7-1
Australian Capital Territory--
Total45134

Post release changes

08/02/2024 - As advertised in the ABS future releases calendar, this additional information release contains all Building Approvals small area data components. This is comprised of the small area excel data cubes, csv files, additional Data Explorer links, and GeoPackages for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 financial years. In addition, a small area interactive story map has been added to illustrate building approvals data by SA2 and LGA, for the current financial year.

Article archive

Previous feature articles

New houses being built on smaller blocks, April 2022

Small Area Dwelling Stock Removals, September 2021

National, state & territory level dwelling demolition approvals, June 2021

Residential Construction and the Finance Process, September 2020

Small area demolition approvals, August 2020

Australians building houses on smaller blocks, July 2020

Characteristics of apartment approvals, September 2019

Growth in approvals, December 2018

Change in composition of dwelling approvals, July 2016

Implementation of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard in ABS Building Approvals collection, April 2011

Average floor area of new residential dwellings, February 2010

Average quarterly completion times for new houses, July 2008

Changes in the mix of dwelling types, April 2008

Average floor area of new residential dwellings, February 2008

Are we building on smaller blocks?, July 2004

Focus on the South Australian Construction Industry, June 2004

Focus on the Tasmanian Construction Industry, June 2004

Focus on the Queensland Construction Industry, May 2004

Focus on the Victorian Construction Industry, April 2004

Engineering Construction, March 2004

Focus on the New South Wales Construction Industry, February 2004

Average floor area of new dwellings, December 2003

Work done on housing jobs each quarter, March 2003

Inner city development, December 2002

Functional classification of buildings, August 2002

Building activity in Sydney and Melbourne, July 2002

Changes in the mix of dwelling types, May 2002

Construction Industry information, April 2002

Average value of new houses, March 2002

Largest and fastest growing areas in Australia, November 2001

Functional classification of buildings, August 2001

Average floor area of new dwellings, July 2001

Identifying growth areas, May 2001

Additional Building and Construction feature articles can be found in Feature Articles by Catalogue Number.

Enquiries

For enquiries 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 8731.0.

Methodology

Scope

Approvals included:

  • construction of new buildings
  • alterations and additions to existing buildings
  • non-structural renovation and refurbishment
  • installation of integral building fixtures
  • full demolitions of existing dwellings.

Geography

Data available for:

  • Australia
  • States and territories
  • Greater Capital City Statistical Area (GCCSA)
  • Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4)
  • Local Government Areas.

Source

Administrative data collection from local government or other approving authorities.

Collection method

Statistics of building work approved are compiled from:

  • local government authorities and other principal certifying authorities
  • contracts authorised by government authorities
  • media reports and the Building Activity Survey.

Concepts, sources and methods

Buildings are classified according to the ABS Functional Classification of Buildings, January 2021.

History of changes

Concurrent seasonal adjustment was reinstated from the May 2022 release.

View full methodology
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