Housing Approvals Hit High in October


October was the best month for new house building approvals in almost 21 years, backed by record-low interest rates and a range of federal and state-based incentives boosting the housing sector.

Building approvals for private sector houses increased for the fourth consecutive month in October, the highest recorded level since February 2000, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday.

National house approvals reached a total of 10,692 in October, up 3.1 per cent from September to reach the high.

October Approvals: ABS

State/territoryPrivate sector housesPrivate sector housesTotal dwellings approvedTotal dwelling units approved
no.Monthly % changeno.Monthly % change
New South Wales2237-4.2469532.1
South Australia8175941-2.4
Western Australia181737.5239929.7
Northern Territorynananana
Australian Capital Territorynananana

▲ Seasonally adjusted. ABS

Western Australia hits high

Tuesday's ABS stats show approvals for private sector housing rose in Western Australia (up 37.5 per cent), Queensland (9.4 per cent) and South Australia (5 per cent).

Falls were recorded in Victoria (6.9 per cent) and New South Wales (4.2 per cent).

In annual terms, Western Australian housing approvals is the strongest state for both houses (up 98 per cent) and units (up 91 per cent) year on year.

HIA new home sales data expects that detached house building approvals could continue to be strong over the coming months, HIA economist Angela Lillicrap said.

“The extension of HomeBuilder will see these strong results carry on well into 2021.

“Detached house approvals increased by 18.6 per cent in the three months to October 2020 compared to the preceding three months and are 23.2 per cent higher than the same time last year,” Lillicrap said.

Related: Renovation Work Props Up Home Building

Total buildings approved

Rises were recorded across all building types in October, with private sector dwellings excluding houses increasing 6.2 per cent, ABS director of construction statistics Daniel Rossi said.

Seasonally adjusted, the total number of dwellings approved rose 3.8 per cent from September, to reach 16,584 total dwellings approved in October.

The rise in total dwelling approvals was driven by large increases in New South Wales (32.1 per cent) and Western Australia (29.7 per cent).

Falls were recorded in Victoria (-15 per cent), Tasmania (-3.4 per cent), South Australia (-2.4 per cent) and Queensland (-0.8 per cent).

The record-low rates and government housing packages are expected to support home builders while overseas migration is absent.

At its final meeting of 2020, the RBA decided to keep the cash rate on hold at 0.1 per cent on Tuesday.

Separately, Corelogic property price data released shows a 0.7 per cent lift in Australia’s property prices across the eight capital cities combined in November.

There were gains across all the capital cities in November, with regional dwelling prices also increasing over the month.

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