31/03/2021 - 12:00

Building approvals reach new heights

31/03/2021 - 12:00

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Australia’s homebuilding sector smashed another record last month, with detached building approvals in February reaching their highest level since 1983.

Building approvals reach new heights
WA achieved a 138.6 per cent increase in detached building approvals during the three months to February 2021 compared to the same time last year. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Australia’s homebuilding sector smashed a record last month, with detached building approvals in February reaching their highest level since 1983.

The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed detached building approvals hit the highest volume since the ABS started its data series in 1983.

Continuing recent monthly trends, Western Australia remained top performer across the country in terms of growth; WA achieved a 138.6 per cent increase in approvals during the three months to February 2021 compared to the same time last year.

South Australia followed with a 67.7 per cent increase, with Queensland up 51 per cent, New South Wales up 32 per cent and Victoria recording a 28.4 per cent increase.

HIA chief economist Tim Reardon said the federal government’s housing stimulus package, HomeBuilder, had driven strong demand for new homes across the country.

WA’s numbers were given an extra boost with the state governments BuildingBonus grant.

“New home sales spiked in December as home buyers rushed to meet the deadline of the first phase of HomeBuilder,” Mr Reardon said.

“New Home Sales in March are expected to be comparable to those in December 2020 as home buyers rush to meet the deadline for the second – and final – phase of HomeBuilder.

“The record volume of work will see home building absorb workers from across the economy in 2021 and into 2022.”

February building approval numbers for the multi-unit sector, however, painted a different story.

“This positive outlook for detached home building is in stark contrast to that of the multi-unit sector,” Mr Reardon said.

“Multi -unit approvals remain lower by 21.6 per cent compared to the same quarter last year.

“Multi-unit projects that are gaining approval at this time are likely to have commenced the planning and building approval process before the pandemic.”

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