Green shoots in NSW housing approvals but more needs to be done: Chris Johnson

Green shoots in NSW housing approvals but more needs to be done: Chris Johnson
Green shoots in NSW housing approvals but more needs to be done: Chris Johnson

EXPERT OBSERVATION

The February Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures for NSW housing approvals indicate a slight rise of 5.4%.

The ABS data in trend terms shows a slight increase in housing approvals between November 2018 and February 2019.

In February there were 5,001 housing approvals which is 5.4% more than the 4,745 approvals in November 2018.

The jump is driven by a surge in higher density apartment approvals which rose by 17.3% between last November and February this year.

This was offset, however, by a reduction of 6% in house approvals over the same time span.

Green shoots in NSW housing approvals but more needs to be done: Chris Johnson

Source: RBA

The spike in apartment approvals may be a sign of more confidence, or more likely it represents projects submitted some time ago that were held up over the Christmas holiday break.

It is clear that many approvals are not translating into real commencements, as the pre sales rate of apartments has dropped significantly.

The Saturday Domain publication that advertises homes for sale or auction a year ago was dominated by apartments, with around 70% of the pages featuring apartments.

Recent editions have only about 10% of advertisements for apartments in a publication that has far less homes for sale overall.

The Urban Taskforce believes the new Planning Minister, Rob Stokes, and his Secretary of Planning must organise a Housing Supply Summit to assess how the current market is performing, so that policy levers could be pulled to ensure the appropriate supply for future years is maintained.

CHRIS JOHNSON is the Urban Taskforce CEO.

Tags: 
NSW Building Approvals

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