30 October 2018

“Approvals for new detached houses across Australia are at their lowest ebb since late 2013,” according to Shane Garrett, Chief Economist of Master Builders Australia.

ABS figures which have just been released indicate that detached house approvals fell by 2.1 per cent during September to record their weakest monthly result since December 2013. There was better news for apartment and other dwelling approvals which benefitted from a 10.7 per cent bounce during September.

“The descent to a five-year low for detached house approvals is an unwelcome milestone and reflects a number of unfavourable factors,” Shane Garret said.

“House prices are continuing to fall in Australia’s two largest markets and this makes it more difficult to deliver new housing supply. The results of last week’s MBA industry survey also demonstrated how the ongoing Royal Commission has led to tougher financing conditions in recent months,” he said.

“The unprecedented level of new home building over the past five years has substantially expanded the capacity of the Australian economy by boosting the number of construction jobs and allowing greater numbers of workers in all sectors to put a roof over their heads,” Shane Garrett said.

“With new home building activity starting to flag, it is vital that government policies remain focused on allowing our industry to provide enough new homes to meet our future demands,” Shane Garrett said.

During September 2018, approvals for new dwellings saw the largest increase in Victoria (+30.5 per cent), followed by Tasmania (+15.7 per cent) and South Australia (+7.8 per cent). The largest reduction in approvals hit Western Australia (-19.0 per cent), followed by Queensland (-10.5 per cent) and the ACT (-8.4 per cent). There were also fewer approvals in New South Wales (-6.8 per cent) and the NT (-6.9 per cent) during September 2018.

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