House approvals remain low

by | Jan 12, 2024

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released its monthly building approvals data for November 2023 at the start of January for detached houses and multi-units covering all states and territories.

“New house building approvals decreased by 1.9 per cent in the month of November,” stated HIA Chief Economist, Tim Reardon.

“The fall in this month’s figures sees approvals in the three months to November lower by 8.0 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year,” he said.

“The low volume of building approvals throughout 2023 will see the volume of homes commencing construction continue to slow this year,” Mr Reardon added.

“Other leading indicators of activity in the housing market, such as new home sales and housing finance data, are also consistent with their confirmation of this projected slowdown.”

In seasonally adjusted terms, decreases in house approvals in the three months to November compared to the same period in the previous year were led by New South Wales (-16.0 per cent), Victoria (-7.2 per cent), South Australia (-6.6 per cent) and Queensland (-6.0 per cent). Western Australia saw a 5.4 per cent increase over the same period.

In original terms, detached approvals in the same period fell in the Northern Territory (-30.5 per cent) and in Tasmania (-21.9 per cent), while the Australian Capital Territory saw an increase (+3.0 per cent).

Mr Reardon said that the rise in the cash rate is the primary cause of this slowdown in approvals.

“A continued fall in the number of new homes approved indicates a slow start to the Australian government’s ambition to build 1.2 million new homes in five years starting mid-2024,” concluded Mr Reardon.