Things are looking up for the residential construction sector as the recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures on new home building approvals revealed the continued positive results in Hunter region the past year.

The NSW region recorded 4,928 approvals for new dwellings over the period, up by 3% compared to the 4,795 approvals logged in 2017, according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

Lower Hunter continues to be a key contributor to the improvement of the residential sector. The local government areas of Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, and Maitland remained the top three locations for approvals, making up more than 76% of total approvals.

The report also found that the largest percentage increases in total dwelling approvals continued to occur in regional locations. Singleton generated the highest rise, up 41%. It was followed by Cessnock, up 25%, while Muswellbrook climbed 9%.

In addition, Cessnock was named the biggest mover, with its housing approvals rising by 129 in 2017.

Detached house approvals, which accounted for 60% of all approvals, decreased by 3% compared to the 2017 calendar year. Multi-unit approvals, meanwhile, increased by 2% over the same period.

“These results point to very healthy levels of activity for the residential construction sector in early 2019. The approvals also reinforce the affordability advantages that the region has over other locations in NSW, particularly Sydney, where housing remains far from affordable for verage households,” said Craig Jennion, HIA Hunter executive director.