Latest release

Building Approvals, Australia

Provides the number of dwelling units and value of buildings approved

Reference period
May 2021
Released
5/07/2021
Future releases
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    Building Approvals, Australia, June 2021
  • Next Release 10/08/2021
    Building Approvals, Australia, June 2021
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    Building Approvals, Australia, July 2021
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Key statistics

  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for total dwellings approved fell 7.1% in May.
  • Private sector houses fell 10.3%, in seasonally adjusted terms, while private sector dwellings excluding houses rose 1.2%.
  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of non-residential building approved rose 28.5%.

Dwellings approved

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May key figures
  May-21Monthly changeYearly change
  no.%%
Seasonally adjusted
 Total dwelling units approved 20,163 -7.152.7
 Private sector houses13,571 -10.355.2
 Private sector dwellings excluding houses6,3741.253.6
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The number of dwellings approved in Australia fell 7.1% in May, in seasonally adjusted terms. This follows a 5.7% decrease in April.

Private sector houses fell 10.3% in May, to 13,571 approved, after reaching a record high In April. Private sector dwellings excluding houses increased 1.2% in May, driven by a rise in apartment approvals in Western Australia.

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Dwellings approved, states and territories
Seasonally adjusted
Private sector housesPrivate sector housesTotal dwelling units approvedTotal dwelling units approved
no.Monthly % changeno.Monthly % change
New South Wales2904-4.65919-10.9
Victoria4385-5.859933.2
Queensland2650-13.83621-13.1
South Australia1089-16.91312-11.9
Western Australia2022-18.02657-8.7
Tasmanianana4022.0
Northern Territorynananana
Australian Capital Territorynananana
Australia13571-10.320163-7.1

By state, the number of dwelling approvals fell in Queensland (-13.1%), South Australia (-11.9%), New South Wales (-10.9%) and Western Australia (-8.7%). Meanwhile, dwelling approvals rose in Victoria (3.2%) and Tasmania (2.0%), in seasonally adjusted terms.

Approvals for private sector houses fell across all mainland states: Western Australia (-18.0%), South Australia (-16.9%), Queensland (-13.8%), Victoria (-5.8%) and New South Wales (-4.6%), in seasonally adjusted terms.

Value of building approved

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Value of building approved, by building type
Seasonally adjusted
$mMonthly % change
New residential building6927.4-5.8
Alterations and additions to residential building953.3-12.7
Total residential building7880.7-6.7
Non-residential building5064.728.5
Total building12945.44.5
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The value of total building rose 4.5 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms. The value of total residential building fell 6.7 per cent, comprising a 5.8% fall in new residential building and a 12.7% fall in residential alterations and additions.

The value of non-residential building rose 28.5% (to $5.06b), driven by a large rise in public sector projects approved in May, following a 38.5% fall in April.

Interactive map

To view the interactive map, click here.

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.

Data downloads

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Datacubes

Series ID Concordance

Private residential alterations and additions, July 2016 - May 2021 - States and Territories

Small area datacubes

Data files

I-note

Information about Building Approvals small area data cubes

The datacube files above contain data for small geographic areas in Excel and CSV (contained within .zip files) formats. Excel files contain data for a financial year whereas CSV files contain data for individual months.

Please note that Building Approvals data are subject to revision. Data cubes are re-released each month including data for the latest month and revisions to data for previous months.

CSV files

Statistical Area 2s: Australia, Year are CSV files containing Statistical Area 2, Statistical Area 3, Statistical Area 4, Greater Capital City Statistical Area and State data for Australia for each month in the relevant year.

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Classifications
State/TerritoriesStatistical Area (SA), State and Australia
Reference MonthMonthly (yyyy refers to the financial year)
Sector of OwnershipPrivate, Public, Total
Type of BuildingHouses, Other Residential, Residential, Non-residential, Non-house and Total building
Type of WorkNew, Alterations & additions (incl. conversions and refurbishments), Total work
Data ItemsValue of approval ($m), Number of dwelling units (no.)

Local Government Areas: State, Year are CSV files containing Local Government Area and State data for Australia for each month in the relevant year.

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Classifications
Geographic ClassificationLocal Government Area (LGA), State and Australia
Reference MonthMonthly (yyyy refers to the financial year)
Sector of OwnershipPrivate, Public, Total
Type of BuildingHouses, Other residential, Residential, Non-residential, Total building
Type of WorkNew, Alterations & additions (incl. conversions and refurbishments), Total work
Data ItemsValue of approval ($000's), Number of dwelling units (no.), Selected value and dwelling ranges

Excel spreadsheets

Statistical Area 2s: State, Year are Excel spreadsheets containing Statistical Area 2 data for that state/territory for the relevant year.

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Information available
Geographic ClassificationStatistical Area 2 (SA2), Statistical Area 3 (SA3), Statistical Area 4 (SA4), Greater Capital City Statistical Area and State
Time periodTotal year, or year to date for the current financial year
Data itemsNew houses (number and value)
New other residential building (number and value)
Total dwellings (number)
Alterations and additions to residential buildings (value)
Total residential building (value)
Non-residential building (value)
Total building (value)

Local Government Areas: State, Year are Excel spreadsheets containing Local Government Area data for that state/territory for the relevant year.

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Information available
Geographic ClassificationLocal Government Area (LGA) and State
Time periodTotal year, or year to date for the current financial year
Data itemsNew houses (number and value)
New other residential building (number and value)
Total dwellings (number)
Alterations and additions to residential buildings (value)
Total residential building (value)
Non-residential building (value)
Total building (value)

Volatility of Local Government Area and Statistical Area Level 2 data

Note that the estimates for small areas vary from month to month and caution should be used in drawing conclusions from monthly movements.

Previous financial year Statistical Area 2 (SA2) CSV data cubes

For SA2 data cubes for financial years 2016-17 to 2017-18, see the January 2020 issue of Building Approvals, Australia.

For SA2 data cubes for financial years 2018-19, see the June 2020 issue of Building Approvals, Australia.

Previous financial year Statistical Area 2 (SA2) SuperTABLE data cubes

For SA2 data cubes for financial years 2001-02 to 2010-11, see the January 2014 issue of Building Approvals, Australia.

For SA2 data cubes for financial years 2011-12 to 2014-15, see the January 2017 issue of Building Approvals, Australia.

For SA2 data cubes for financial year 2015-16, see the January 2019 issue of Building Approvals, Australia.

ABS.Stat datasets

Help for: ABS.Stat 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 2011 onwards

Building Approvals by Local Government Area (LGA 2019) - Number and value of approvals, monthly, 2019/20

Building Approvals by Local Government Area (LGA 2020) - Number and value of approvals, monthly, 2020/21

GeoPackages

Data files

Notes

Data notes

This publication provides the number of dwelling units and value of buildings approved released in Building Approvals, Australia on 5 July 2021.

Small area data cubes and CSV files will be made available in an “Additional Information” release five business days after the main publication. These will be for Statistical Areas Level 2 and Local Government Areas. Release dates are published under the “Forthcoming Issues” section of the publication and in the ABS Release Calendar.

A number of time series spreadsheets contain ‘np’ (not available for publication) annotations. This is due to confidential data being contained in these series.

Extraordinary Annual Seasonal Review

The Extraordinary Annual Seasonal Review undertaken this month has individually assessed each series to determine how each observation from the previous year should be treated for estimation of the seasonal factors used to seasonally adjust the current end of the series. This process has ensured disruption to series caused by COVID-19 does not unduly affect estimates of the seasonal factors.

For series which have used the forward factors method, revisions to the seasonally adjusted series are likely to be larger than the revisions historically observed each month when concurrent adjustment was used. Series which have used forward factors have used static seasonal factor estimates for the previous year, and the review has updated these seasonal factor estimates by incorporating relevant information from the previous year's observations. When concurrent adjustment is used, revisions to the seasonally adjusted estimates will typically be smaller because seasonal factor estimates are updated monthly on the basis of the addition of just one extra data point.

New forward factors have been calculated and will be used from the May 2021 publication. 

Revisions this month

In this release, revisions are provided for the time period from July 2019 to April 2021. Further information about potential sources of revisions can be found in the feature article released 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:

Download
 Financial year
Dwellings 2019-202020-21
New South Wales-262
Victoria3336
Queensland1107
South Australia-140
Western Australia356
Tasmania-5
Northern Territory--
Australian Capital Territory-159
Total4765

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 8731.0.

Post release changes

12/07/2021 - As advertised in the main release of this publication on 5 July 2021, this additional information release contains the small area Excel datacubes and CSV files for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years. The CSV files were released shortly after the Excel datacubes.

Article archive

Previous feature articles

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.