Green shoots of housing approvals in NSW must continue

The February Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures for NSW housing approvals indicates a slight rise of 5.4 per cent, says the Urban Taskforce.


“The ABS data in trend terms shows a slight increase in housing approvals between November 2018 and February 2019.” says Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson. “In February there were 5,001 housing approvals which is 5.4 per cent more than the 4,745 approvals in November 2018. The jump is driven by a surge in higher density apartment approvals which rose by 17.3 percent between last November and February this year. This was offset, however, by a reduction of 6 percent in house approvals over the same time span.”


“The spike in apartment approvals may be a sign of more confidence, or more likely it represents projects submitted some time ago that were held up over the Christmas holiday break.”


“It is clear that many approvals are not translating into real commencements, as the pre sales rate of apartments has dropped significantly. The Saturday Domain publication that advertises homes for sale or auction a year ago was dominated by apartments, with around 70 percent of the pages featuring apartments. Recent editions have only about 10 percent of advertisements for apartments in a publication that has far less homes for sale overall.”


“The Urban Taskforce believes the new Planning Minister, Rob Stokes, and his Secretary of Planning must organise a Housing Supply Summit to assess how the current market is performing, so that policy levers could be pulled to ensure the appropriate supply for future years is maintained.”


The graph below is based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

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