Small Renovations Boom But Building Approvals Slump To Eight-Year Low

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

Dwelling investment is well on the way to the forecast fall of 16% in the next year after another fall in approvals in June.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said in the June building approvals report that home building approvals fell to an eight-year low in June as the COVID-19 pandemic hits demand and financing.

Approvals for the construction of new homes fell 4.9% in June from May (when they plunged a massive 16.4% from April).

Approvals for private sector houses fell 5.7% in the month, while the “other dwellings” category, which includes apartment blocks and townhouses, dropped 5.3%.

For the year to June (2019-20) total approvals fell 15.8%, with private homes down 7% and apartments, units and townhouses off more than 30%.

For the first six months of the year, total approvals were down 17%.

Falls in dwelling approvals were recorded across all the states for both detached and attached dwellings, with NSW, Queensland and Western Australia suffering big falls

Double-digit falls were recorded in New South Wales (14.8%, Western Australia (11.7%), Queensland (10.9%), and Tasmania (10.8%), while South Australia (4.6%) and Victoria (0.2%) also declined.

Approvals for private sector houses fell in Queensland (15.2%, New South Wales (11.3%), South Australia (2.3%) and Western Australia (0.8%), while Victoria rose slightly (0.9%), in seasonally adjusted terms.

The value of total building approved rose 7.3% in June, in seasonally adjusted terms.

The value of non-residential building rose 17.8%, while residential building rose 0.1% thanks to an 11.4% increase in the value of renovations and home alterations.

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About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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