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Building Approvals, Australia

Provides the number of dwelling units and value of buildings approved

Reference period
May 2022
Released
4/07/2022

Key statistics

The May 2022 trend estimate: 

 

  • Total dwellings approved fell 1.5%.
  • Private sector houses approved fell 0.5%, while private sector dwellings excluding houses fell 2.5%.
  • The value of non-residential building fell 1.5%.

The May 2022 seasonally adjusted estimate: 

  • Total dwellings approved rose 9.9%.
  • Private sector houses approved fell 2.7%, while private sector dwellings excluding houses rose 32.0%.
  • The value of non-residential building rose 16.5%.

Reinstatement of trend series

The trend series for Building Approvals has been reviewed and been reinstated.

Further details on the reinstatement of trend, is available in the Data Note section below.

Dwellings approved

May key figures
 May-22Monthly changeYearly change
no.%%
TREND   
Total dwelling units approved15,487-1.5-23.4
Private sector houses9,808-0.5-25.3
Private sector dwellings excluding houses5,304-2.5-21.9
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED   
Total dwelling units approved16,3909.9-20.9
Private sector houses9,687-2.7-29.5
Private sector dwellings excluding houses6,37632.0-5.4

(a) Trend break added to 'Total dwelling units approved' trend series for February 2021

The trend estimate for total dwellings approved fell 1.5% in May, this follows a 1.2% fall in April.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for the number of dwellings approved in Australia rose 9.9% in May. This follows a 3.9% fall in April.

(a) Trend break added to 'Private sector houses' trend series for February 2021

The trend estimate for private sector house approvals fell 0.5% in May, this follows a 0.8% fall in April. Private sector dwellings excluding houses fell 2.5%, following a 1.4% fall in April.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for private sector house approvals fell 2.7% in May, to 9,687, following a 0.2% decline in April. Private sector dwellings excluding houses rose 32.0%, following a 8.1% fall in April.

Trend summary, by state

Across Australia, the number of dwelling approvals decreased in Northern Territory (-3.7%), Victoria (-2.8%), Tasmania (-2.5%), New South Wales (-2.2%), and the Australian Capital Territory (-2.1%), in trend terms. Dwelling approvals rose in Western Australia (1.9%), Queensland (0.8%), and South Australia (0.4%).

Approvals for private sector houses fell in New South Wales (-2.3%) and Victoria (-0.4%). Queensland (2.0%), Western Australia (0.6%), and South Australia (0.1%) rose, in trend terms.

Dwellings approved, states and territories, trend
 Private sector housesPrivate sector housesTotal dwelling unit approvalsTotal dwelling unit approvals
no.Monthly % changeno.Monthly % change
New South Wales2,317-2.34,171-2.2
Victoria3,057-0.45,017-2.8
Queensland2,1062.03,0550.8
South Australia7850.11,0540.4
Western Australia1,1860.61,3961.9
Tasmanianana231-2.5
Northern Territorynana52-3.7
Australian Capital Territorynana507-2.1
Australia9,808-0.515,487-1.5

 

Seasonally adjusted summary, by state

By state, the number of dwelling approvals rose in Western Australia (38.7%), Tasmania (26.8%), Queensland (20.9%) and New South Wales (4.7%), in seasonally adjusted terms. Dwelling approvals decreased in South Australia (-21.3%) and Victoria (-6.6%).

Approvals for private sector houses fell in New South Wales (-11.1%), South Australia (-4.1%), Queensland (-1.3%), and Victoria (-0.9%). Western Australia (4.9%) rose, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Dwellings approved, states and territories, seasonally adjusted
 Private sector housesPrivate sector housesTotal dwelling unit approvalsTotal dwelling unit approvals
no.Monthly % changeno.Monthly % change
New South Wales2,148-11.14,2364.7
Victoria3,047-0.94,772-6.6
Queensland2,104-1.33,31220.9
South Australia786-4.11,053-21.3
Western Australia1,2314.91,79338.7
Tasmanianana30326.8
Northern Territorynananana
Australian Capital Territorynananana
Australia9,687-2.716,3909.9

 

Value of building approved

Value of building approved, by building type
 TrendTrendSeasonally adjustedSeasonally adjusted
 $mMonthly % change$mMonthly % change
New residential building6,347.81.26,615.45.9
Alterations and additions to residential building988.60.01,027.13.8
Total residential building7,336.41.07,642.55.6
Non-residential building4,987.1-1.55,445.716.5
Total building12,323.50.013,088.29.9

 

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

Value of building approved, trend

The trend estimate of the value of total building approved was flat in May. The value of total residential building increased by 1.0%, following a 0.6% rise in April. The rise in total residential building value was driven by a 1.2% rise in value of new residential building approved, while the value of alterations and additions was flat.

The trend estimate of the value of non-residential building fell 1.5%, following a 0.4% decrease in April.

Value of building approved, seasonally adjusted

The seasonally adjusted estimate of the value of total building approved rose 9.9% in May. The value of total residential building increased by 5.6%, following a 4.6% rise in April. The rise in total residential building value was comprised of a 5.9% rise in value of new residential building approved and a 3.8% increase in alterations and additions.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of the value of non-residential building rose 16.5%, following a 16.8% decrease 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

I-note

Information about Building Approvals small area data cubes

The datacube files below 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

For SA2 data cubes for financial years 2019-20, see the June 2021 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.

Small area datacubes

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 onwards

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

Building Approvals by Local Government Area (LGA 2021) - Number and value of approvals, monthly, 2021/22

GeoPackages

Data files

Data notes

This publication provides the number of dwelling units and value of buildings approved released in Building Approvals, Australia on 4 July 2022.

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.

Review of seasonal adjustment

In early 2020 the ABS advised that the method used to produce seasonally adjusted estimates would be changed from the ‘concurrent adjustment’ method to the ‘forward factors’ method for series with significant and prolonged impacts from COVID-19. Given the ongoing disruption during the COVID-19 period and continuing use of forward factors, extraordinary annual reviews of seasonally adjusted series are progressively being undertaken across the ABS statistics programs.

The extraordinary annual review process assesses each series individually to determine how observations from 2020 and 2021 should be treated and determine the most appropriate approach (concurrent adjustment or forward factors) for estimating seasonal adjustment factors in the immediate future. Revisions arising from the annual review are relatively minor for most series, but series which have used forward factors are likely to have larger revisions because the seasonal factor estimates are annually updated to incorporate information from the previous year's observations.

The outcome of the review for Building Approvals statistics is that concurrent seasonal adjustment will be reinstated for all series, as COVID-19 is no longer having significant and prolonged impacts on the series.

Further information can be found here: https://www.abs.gov.au/articles/methods-changes-during-covid-19-period

Review of trend suspension

In early 2020 the ABS suspended trend series, in addition to adopting forward factors to produce seasonally adjusted series. The trend estimate indicates the medium to long direction of a time series. To estimate the trend, the effect of significant events like disruptions associated with COVID-19 are assigned to either the trend or irregular components of a time series. The rationale for suspending trend series was that it was unknown whether the impacts from COVID-19 would be short or medium to long-term, and therefore there was high probability of needing to significantly revise initial assessments of the impacts of COVID-19 on the trend.

The trend series for Building Approvals has been reviewed and been reinstated.

Over the last two years, the impacts of COVID-19 on Building Approvals series have not caused multiple abrupt changes in the series level in short succession, and so it is appropriate to describe a trend level through the past two years. As a result, Building Approvals will also be publishing a trend over the previous two years for relevant series.

Revisions this month

In this release, revisions are provided for the time period from July 2020 to April 2022. 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:

 Financial year
Dwellings revised by State2020-212021-22
New South Wales1813
Victoria-66
Queensland18-171
South Australia--4
Western Australia-45
Tasmania46
Northern Territory--
Australian Capital Territory--
Total40-45

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.

Post release changes

11/07/2022 - As advertised in the main release of this publication on 4 July 2022, this additional information release contains the small area Excel datacubes and CSV files for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 financial years. 

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.