4 March 2019 

“The number of approvals for new home building started 2019 on a positive note with an increase of 2.5% during January in seasonally-adjusted terms,” according to Master Builders Australia’s Chief Economist Shane Garrett.

“The rise in approvals during January follows a run of weak results during the back end of last year. Higher density housing in particular has lost a lot of ground over the past 12 months,” he said.

“During January, the number of approvals for new detached houses rose by 1.9% with a stronger increase of 3.8% on the apartment/units side of the market,” Shane Garret said.

“Despite the welcome increase in approvals during January, we are still down by almost 30% compared with this time last year,” he said.

“The ongoing difficulties in the flow of credit and concerns about the direction of housing policy post-election are having negative effects on home building activity,” Shane Garrett said.

“Construction is the economy’s largest provider of full-time jobs and the upcoming round of federal, state and territory budgets provides a real opportunity to get us back onto the right track,” he said.

During January, WA saw the largest increase in total new home approvals (+28.8%), followed by Tasmania (+15.4%) and NSW (+12.0%)

The largest reductions affected the ACT (-19.8%) and the NT (-8.0%). Approvals also declined in Victoria (-7.9%), Queensland (-3.5%) and SA (-1.5%) during the month.

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