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Home construction approvals dive by 18.5%

A drop in apartment, unit and town house projects dragged the number of dwellings approved to build by 18.5 per cent over March.

New Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data has shown that the number of buildings approved in March (15,183) dropped off after a 42 per cent surge over February.

The approvals total was also down 35.6 per cent year-on-year.

Daniel Rossi, ABS director of construction statistics, explained the fall had been driven by a 29.9 per cent drop in approvals for private sector dwellings excluding houses, such as apartments, units or town houses, down to 5,004 for the month.

Approvals in the non-house segment were also considerably down from the year before, by 32.2 per cent.

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But approvals for houses had also declined, down 3 per cent to 9,932 in March, following a 14.6 per cent rise in February. The total had plummeted by 41 per cent from March 2021.

The value of total building approved fell by 10.8 per cent over the month to $1.2 billion, with the value of residential building falling by 18.3 per cent to $6.6 billion, following a 37.7 per cent elevation in February.

While alterations and additions were flat at $930.5 million, there was a 20.7 per cent decline in new residential building, down to $5.7 billion.

Across Australia, the number of dwelling approvals fell in Victoria (down 34.6 per cent to 4,650), Tasmania (decreasing 27.3 per cent to 208), NSW (sliding by 23.9 per cent to 4,211) and South Australia (down 23.5 per cent to 865).

Queensland and Western Australia were exceptions, respectively up by 12.4 per cent to 3,019 and climbing by 5.1 per cent to 1,308.

The two states also were the only ones to see a rise in house approvals, with Queensland up 5.8 per cent to 2,110 and Western Australia inching upwards by 0.3 per cent to 1,203.

House approvals were down in all other states, with NSW decreasing by 7.5 per cent to 2,455, Victoria by 5 per cent less, at 3,064, and South Australia descending by 2.2 per cent to 740.

Meanwhile, the value of non-residential building was down by 0.8 per cent to $6.1 billion, after more than doubling in February (up 130.1 per cent).

ABS data on Thursday (5 May) revealed new home loans were up by 1.6 per cent to $33.3 billion over March, following a 3.5 per cent decline over February.

First home buyers had remained active, with a month-on-month rise in activity across all states except Tasmania. The ACT in particular recorded a 44.2 per cent spike in first home buyer activity.

[Related: Victoria confirms $40m housing injection]

Home construction approvals dive by 18.5%
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