Growth new apartment and unit approval numbers have Master Builders Australia saying the overall housing market may have turned upwards. Photo: FILE

Peak building body welcomes part-bounce

July 10, 2019 BY

Master Builders Australia has said an increase in building approvals across the country is a good sign the housing market is in recovery.

AUSTRALIAN Bureau of Statistics data showed a 2.1 per cent rise in the volume of approvals for new apartments or units during May, a section of the industry that’s been hardest hit by recent downturns.

However detached house approvals dipped slightly, down-0.2 per cent over the same period.

“House price figures also support the view that we are at a turning point in the housing market. The latest rate cut from the RBA will help further in this regard,” said Shane Garrett, Master Builders Australia’s Chief Economist.

During May, Victoria saw the largest increase in new dwelling approvals essentially driving overall growth, up 14.4 per cent. The ACT also increased by 7.2 per cent.

The volume of approvals in New South Wales was unchanged during the period.

However, if wasn’t all good news with new home approved going backwards in Queensland -6.3 per cent, the NT -6.1 per cent and Western Australia -4.7 per cent. South Australia at -2.9 per cent and Tasmania -1.2 per cent, saw by more measured reductions.

Year-on-year commercial building approvals across the country were even more volatile. New South Wales went up 23.7 per cent, followed by Queensland at 14.8 per cent and Victoria rising by 1.9 per cent.

The largest reductions occurred in Tasmania, -47.3 per cent and the Northern Territory -34.4 per cent. Other states and territories were also down.

“The disappointing figures for commercial building again underline the importance of delivering government-led projects more quickly in order to support the many small building firms who are dependent on such work. A speedier roll out would do much to enhance confidence,” Mr Garrett said.