The federal government's HomeBuilder scheme continues to drive dwelling approval levels to a new record high, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Approvals for private-sector houses increased by 15.1% in February, which translated to 13,939 homes. Over the year, approvals for the construction of new homes were up by 57.5%.

"This is the highest level on record since the ABS began the series in 1983 and exceeds the previous record in December last year," said Michael Sukkar, minister for housing.

The impacts of the HomeBuilder scheme are also apparent in other key housing metrics.

For instance, figures from the Housing Industry Association showed that new home sales rose by 60.5% across Australian markets.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, new home sales increased by 32.5% over the past year. Activity from first-home buyers increased the past year, comprising 50% of overall activity in the housing market.

Based on the federal government's estimates, the HomeBuilder scheme is expected to support up to $18bn worth of residential construction projects.

Sukkar said the positive impacts of the HomeBuilder extends beyond the housing market to the economy.

"HomeBuilder has delivered effective support and stimulus to protect the jobs of the 1 million Australians employed in the construction sector. HomeBuilder is supporting our economic comeback and will continue to support residential construction jobs well into 2022," he said.