Building approvals stable in January

fence residential building stock image

“Building approvals in the three months to January 2020 increased by 4.9 per cent compared to the previous three months but remain 2.3 per cent lower than the same time last year (2019),” stated HIA Economist, Angela Lillicrap.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released its monthly building approvals data covering all states and territories.

“Data continues to indicate that the residential building market reached a turning point mid-way through 2019, fuelled by cuts to the official cash rate,” added Ms Lillicrap.

“Approvals have stabilised at historically high levels. The ‘trough’ is comparable with the peaks of previous building cycles. Detached house approvals have a three-month annualised level of 104,076 approvals.

“Continued house price growth is boosting confidence in the market. This combined with the low interest rate environment, making servicing a mortgage more affordable, bodes well for increased demand for new housing.

“Restricted access to finance for first home buyers will continue to be the biggest impediment to future growth in building approvals,” concluded Ms Lillicrap.

In seasonally adjusted terms, building approvals for the three months to January 2020 quarter increased in Victoria (+15.3 per cent), and New South Wales (+5.3 per cent), while declining in Tasmania (-10.7 per cent) and Western Australia (-11.0 per cent). Queensland (-1.7 per cent) and South Australia (-2.1 per cent) were relatively steady compared to the previous quarter. In trend terms, the Australian Capital Territory increased by 30.7 per cent while the Northern Territory declined by 8.1 per cent.

Source: HIA