More than 90,000 homes knocked down nationwide, and more to come

July 29, 2023 BY

Nearly 100,000 house demolition approvals have been made in the past five years.

NEARLY one hundred thousand homes have been knocked down over the past five years in Australia, and further housing through knockdown rebuilds can be expected in coming years.

From March 2019 to March 2023, a total of 93,975 house demolitions were approved according to ABS data.

The countries most populous state, NSW, recorded the largest number of demolition approvals for houses with 33,691 recorded from 2019 to 2023.

And those numbers are set to increase over the coming years as the country grapples with growing price of land and increased urban density.

“Knockdown-rebuild currently account for one in four new homes built in Australia,” said Housing Industry of Australia chief economist Tim Reardon.

“As a share of the market they are going to be even stronger over the next years and we are seeing a rise in 2023 and 2024.”

As our populations have increased and cities become bigger our demolition numbers have been on the rise.

“What we’ve seen over the last 40 years is a consistent increase in demolition approvals, as we have had increasing density in our cities,” Mr Reardon said.

More recent demolition numbers coming in, particularly in the past year, point however to changes in the economic climate.

Over the past five years shown in these charts housing demolition approvals reached a peak in June 2022, when nationally local councils across the country approved for 6628 houses to be demolished.

In the same month NSW councils approved for 2914 houses to be pulled down and in Victoria in the same month it was signed off for 2248 houses to be knocked down.

That peak came just one month before the Reserve Bank started increasing interest rates, and since then numbers of demolition approvals have been continuing to drop in line with housing starts overall.

Nationally the number of houses being demolished has dropped over the past year and now sits at 4636 house demolition approvals.

NSW underwent the next biggest drop with a drop to 1850 house demolitions approved in March this year.

Established homes can be knocked down for a number of reasons.

They may be being replaced by another single home.

Increasingly older homes on larger blocks are also being knocked down to allow more density, with dual occupancy dwellings being allowed in an effort to provide more housing within our cities.