Apartment approvals soar in Victoria and NSW

The total number of dwellings approved in March was the second highest monthly tally recorded by the ABS, only exceeded by the November 2017 result.

Apartment approvals soar in Victoria and NSW
Apartment approvals soar in Victoria and NSW

The number of dwellings approved across Australia rose 17 per cent in March, following a 20 per cent rise in February, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The 23,000 total number of dwellings approved in March was the second highest monthly tally recorded, only exceeded by the November 2017 result.

The total was broken up into 14,000 houses and 8500 apartments and townhouses.

Much of the gain was driven by an increase in apartment approvals in New South Wales and Victoria.

Private sector dwellings - excluding houses - rose 63 per cent on the month, and 27 per cent over the year.

Unit and twonhouse approvals sit at their highest level since mid-2018.

Peak unit approvals was around September 2017.

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said the surge in approvals points to a significant rise in dwelling construction activity over the remainder of this year. 

"This is good news for the economy and jobs and against the back drop of the collapse in population growth holds out the prospect that the property market will move into a situation of underlying oversupply in the next year or so which should slow the gains in home prices and help improve affordability.

Oliver noted the surge in unit approvals was "normally volatile."

The HIA senior economist, Nick Ward noted in the three months to March multi-unit approvals remain lower by 2.2 per cent compared to the same time in the previous year.

The ABS data revealed the number of private sector house approvals remained at elevated levels due to HomeBuilder, edging up 0.1 per cent to a new record high in March.

Total dwelling approvals rose in New South Wales (26.9 per cent), Victoria (24.7 per cent), Queensland (12.1 per cent) and South Australia (3.5 per cent), in seasonally adjusted terms. 

Total dwelling approvals in Western Australia and Tasmania fell (-6.4 per cent and -4.8 per cent respectively).

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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