Home building activity is surging ahead in Victoria and Western Australia amid growing population and rising market confidence.

Figures show a nationwide surge in dwelling approvals across most states, remaining at close to record highs - up 20% on the same time last year. This is despite a fall of 5% when compared to the previous month.

In the eight months to February 2014, Victoria was identified as the leader in dwelling approvals by CommSec.

Of these, 19,590 were houses while 20,622 were apartments.


  • Houses - 19,590
  • Apartments – 20,622
The highest number of dwelling approvals was for apartments in Melbourne’s inner city precincts, totalling 8,043 -while the most popular area for housing approvals was Melbourne’s south east recording a total of 3,327.

Within the same period, WA recorded the second highest number of approvals including 16,712 houses and 4,344 apartments.


  • House - 16,712
  • Apartments – 4,181
In WA, Perth’s south east topped the list for housing and apartment approvals, recording 3,056 and 1,277 respectively.

For apartment approvals, Queensland came in second, with Brisbane recording 4,546 within the inner city area, while South Australia recorded the third highest number of housing approvals with Adelaide’s north recording 1,687.

Housing Industry of Australia senior economist Shane Garrett said dwelling approvals in Victoria were on the rise due to a recovery in the market.

“Population growth is quite substantial in Melbourne, but what also happened in Victoria and in Melbourne in particular, was that dwelling activity reached very high levels in 2010 and then declined quite considerably from about 60,000 dwellings per year to about 45,000 last year,” he explains.

“We are seeing those numbers stabilising this year, and we expect them to increase again. But, the  figures we have for Victoria show the building market is increasing at a faster pace than expected and in some ways that is a sign of the market recovering, or bouncing back, from previous low levels of activity caused by previously higher interest rates, a weak economy and basically a lot of pessimism that was around.”

In WA, exceptional population growth over the past five years, coupled with strong mining activity is responsible for driving the building economy, according to Garrett.

“New home building in WA last year rose by 30%, which is a big increase,” he said. “That explains WA’s presence near the top of the list.”

In fact, HIA reports total residential building approvals in WA reached the highest monthly total in February, since records began in 1983.

The report is based on recent data provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics that shows approvals for new dwellings in WA increased by 4.6% data to 2,749 in February, the highest monthly total ever recorded for the state.

Top 10 building hot spots


State Area House Apartment
VIC Melbourne - Inner City 382 8043
QLD Brisbane Inner City 217 4546
NSW Sydney - Inner South West 518 4064
VIC Melbourne - South East 3327 1178
WA Perth - South East 3056 1277
VIC Melbourne - West 3072 1027
WA Perth - North West 3023 819
WA Perth - South West 3034 780
NSW Syndey - Parramatta 477 3058
ACT statewide 1088 2439