New apartment starts shrink to 8 year low: ABS

Across Australia, 193,581 homes were being built at the end of March, down from a record 229,351 homes in March 2018.

New apartment starts shrink to 8 year low: ABS
New apartment starts shrink to 8 year low: ABS

The total number of dwelling starts rose by 0.2 per cent to a 2½-year high of 51,662 homes in the March quarter, according to the ABS.

Starts are up 13.1 per cent on the year. 

Total house starts rose by 5.9 per cent to a record high (records since September 1965) of 36,395 houses.

But total apartment starts fell by 11.4 per cent to an 8½-year low of 15,083 units.

The value of residential and commercial building work in the pipeline stood at $92.8 billion at the end of March, up by 1.3 per cent on a year ago.

This was below the record-high of $99.5 billion at the end of June 2018, CommSec economist Ryan Felsman advised. 

The value of residential work in the pipeline hit record highs in Tasmania ($729.8 million) and South Australia ($3.1 billion) in the March quarter with Western Australia at 5-year highs ($4.4 billion). 

Across Australia, 193,581 homes were being built at the end of March, down from a record 229,351 homes in March 2018.

Work started on 188,607 new dwellings over the 12 months to March, up by 7 per cent on the year. 

Starts fell from a record high of 234,440 dwellings in the year to June 2016.

Across states and territories, starts in the March quarter: NSW (up 9.2 per cent); Victoria (down 15.1 per cent); Queensland (down 5.0 per cent); South Australia (up 16.1 per cent); Western Australia (up 18.7 per cent); Tasmania (up 14.7 per cent); Northern Territory (down 38.8 per cent); and the ACT (up 42.6 per cent). 

In the March quarter, the value of residential and commercial building work done rose by 3.0 per cent to be down 1.1 per cent on a year ago, according to the ABS.

New residential work lifted 4.8 per cent, alterations & additions rose 11.4 per cent and commercial building fell by 1.4 per cent.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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