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Residential building approvals recover

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed a resurge in residential building approvals, following signs of easing in late 2015 and the first three months of this year.

According to the ABS data, residential building approvals increased by 3.0 per cent throughout the month of April, exceeding a monthly total of 20,000.

“Approvals for multi-unit dwelling provided the impetus for the headline growth in April, with approvals in this part of the market growing by 8.1 per cent during the month,” HIA economist Geordan Murray said, commenting on the results.

“The growth in multi-unit approvals was driven by the eastern sea-board states, where we saw multi-unit approvals jump by 20 per cent in Queensland, 19 per cent in New South Wales, and 7.0 per cent in Victoria. South Australia also posted an increase of 3.0 per cent.”

Mr Murray said approvals for detached houses also continue to flow through at a steady rate.

“While there was a decline of 2.0 per cent in the month, there were a total of 9,695 detached dwellings approved which is still on par with the monthly average over the last couple of years,” he said.

“In contrast to the situation with multi-unit approvals, the number of detached house approvals fell across the eastern sea-board states while all other states and territories posted improvements.

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“It’s pleasing to see the likes of South Australia post the strongest month of detached house approvals in more than two years.”

Mr Murray noted that April’s results goes against the easing trend that the HIA has observed over the last six months.

“We maintain our view that the level of new home building activity in 2016 is likely to be lower than we saw during 2015, however this result suggests the 2016 level may be closer to the peak than initially expected,” he said.

[Related: Brexit had 'little impact' on Australian confidence: ANZ]



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