Improved March housing approval figures show potential

05 May 2010

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures have today revealed that, after two months of decline, private sector home approvals have returned to positive territory, with a 14 per cent seasonally adjusted increase in March.

The Urban Taskforce’s chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said the March result more than cancels out the 9.5 per cent decline in private sector approvals in January and February and is the best March result for these approvals since 2004.


“These monthly figures are volatile, but it seems there is hope that a recovery is taking place in new home construction across Australia,” Mr Gadiel said.


“In terms of private sector approvals, Victoria delivered a strong result with an 11 per cent seasonally adjusted increase – delivering more such approvals in March than any previous March recorded in ABS record-keeping history.


“NSW saw a seasonally adjusted 62 per cent lift in private sector home approvals more than making up for the 30 per cent decline in home approvals recorded since October 2009.


“This is the best NSW March private sector home approval figure since 2006, although it’s less than half the equivalent Victorian figure, and 12 per cent lower than the equivalent Queensland figure.


“Queensland’s private sector home approval figure was the best that state has seen since 2007.”


Mr Gadiel said that NSW’s figures had improved on the back of increased private sector medium and high density home approvals.


“In 2009 we saw an incredibly low rate of medium and high density approvals generally in March that year only 400 private sector approvals were issued,” Mr Gadiel said.


“The March 2010 figure of 1,000 approvals, is close to the equivalent approval number for 2008 and 2007, although its only two-thirds of the 1990s average.


“It’s great that we’re getting away from the abysmal numbers of 2009, but NSW still has a long way to go in order to get its housing approvals and construction rates to a reasonable level.


“With a national housing shortfall approach of 200,000 homes, all levels of government need to work together to ensure that March’s positive figures are sustained into a longer-term recovery.”


The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers.


For every $1 million in construction expenditure, 27 jobs are created throughout the broader economy.


The construction activity made possible by property developers contributes $78 billion to the national economy each year and creates 849,000 direct jobs.

Note: Illustrative graphs are in the PDF below.



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