The month of July saw new dwelling approvals in Australia push into record territory.

According to figures from the Housing Industry Association (HIA), a 4.2% increase in approvals during July brought total approvals for the previous 12 months to 224,121, the highest number of approvals on record for a 12-month period.

The July increase was driven by an 11.7% increase in multi-unit approvals, after approvals for attached dwellings fell by 2.6%.

HIA senior economist Shane Garrett said the strong recent approval numbers for multi-unit developments had helped break another record.

“Since the beginning of the current home building upturn, multi-unit activity has done more than its due share of the heavy lifting,” Garrett said.  

“In the year to July, multi-unit dwelling approvals hit a new all-time record of over 108,000,” he said.

Garrett said the growth of multi-unit developments had been increasing for a number of years, however there is concern about the number of detached dwelling projects being given the green light.

“Across Australia, multi-unit dwelling approvals have more than doubled since the year to April 2012,” he said.

“On the detached house side of the account, growth has been more subdued and we’re concerned that poor land supply delivery and unnecessary planning delays is hampering activity in this part of the market.”

During July 2015, total seasonally-adjusted new home building approvals only saw monthly growth in New South Wales (+27.1%) and Victoria (+8.3%).

The largest decline occurred in Tasmania (-24.7%), followed by Queensland (-17.2%). Building approvals also declined in South Australia (-8.1%) and in Western Australia (-1.1%).

In trend terms, new dwelling approvals increased both in the Northern Territory (+7.3%) and in the ACT (+4.4%).