The rate of building approvals has declined slightly in December, after reaching its highest ever monthly level during November, according to official figures.
The figures released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics saw the total number of new homes approved in December dip 3.3%. Although, the rate of approvals is still 8.8% higher than a year ago.
Geordan Murray, economist for the Housing Industry Association, says the ‘multi-unit’ sector continues to be the key driver of building approval results.
“The sharp spike in multi-unit approvals in Victoria in November was reversed in December (down by 44.0%). There were some partial offsets with multi-unit approvals growing in New South Wales (up by 52.0%), Queensland (up by 3.1%) and South Australia (up by 130.6% from a low base).
“In aggregate, the number of multi-unit approvals across the country fell by 7.9% in December, although the number approved was 12.7% higher than the corresponding month a year earlier.”
Detached house approval numbers were consistent in December, hovering around 9,500 approvals per month in trend terms, where they have remained for much of 2014. Murray says both these figures suggest the residential building industry remains in good nick in the current environment.
“Looking at the performance of Australia’s major industries in 2014, residential building was amongst the top performers. The low and stable interest rate environment has provided support for demand from home buyers during the year and this situation looks to remain the case throughout 2015,” he said.
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