NSW housing approvals flat but non residential approvals falling

The June data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicates that housing approvals in NSW were flat while non-residential approvals are falling says the Urban Taskforce.

“Housing approvals across NSW are steady for high density dwellings and for houses.” Says Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson “But non-residential approvals have been dropping since October 2017.”

“High density housing, which is generally apartments, had 3,375 approvals in June 2018 compared to 3,327 in March 2018 on trend figures and houses had 2,432 approvals in June 2018 compared to 2,489 approvals in March 2018. Clearly both housing types are flat in their approval numbers over 4 months.”

“The area that is of concern is the non-residential approvals which are measured by value. The June 2018 non-residential approvals were valued at $886,943,000 but in October 2017 the approvals were valued at $1,244,243,000.  This represents a drop of 28.7 per cent over 8 months.”

“With expectations of a drop in approvals for housing following a number of state planning policies being put on hold it will be important that the non-residential building sector is able to reverse its downward trend so building construction jobs are maintained.”

“NSW currently has around 400,000 jobs in the building development industry with 300,000 of these in the residential sector. Maximising employment is an important objective of the NSW government so the flow on from approvals to construction of all building types must be maintained at a high level.”

“The Urban Taskforce is concerned that if both residential and non-residential approvals drop too much then confidence within the development industry will also drop leading to a significant period of lower job numbers in the building industry. The NSW Government however seems to be responding to NIMBY concerns in the community by putting many planning policies that could help with housing supply on hold.”

Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data.


  • Chris Johnson can be interviewed on 041225 8283

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