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“Stable” housing approvals a highlight for February

“Stable” housing approvals a highlight for February

New housing approvals and sales are up across the country.

On April 1, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its latest data on the country’s housing approvals. This month’s edition of its dispatch reveals that in trend terms, the number of approved dwellings grew by 1.6 per cent in February of this year.

In fact, this latest result is an extension of nine consecutive months of solid growth.

Apprentices in Queensland will be particularly pleased that their state was one of the best performing in the latest update. The Sunshine State, with a dwelling approval increase of 2.1 per cent in February, came second only to New South Wales (5.4 per cent).

The Housing Industry Australia (HIA) welcomed the findings from the ABS, adding that February’s positive results marked it as the second strongest month on record in terms of housing approvals.

“This is another very strong result for Australia’s national new home building sector,” noted Shane Garrett, senior economist at the HIA.

“In January, new dwelling approvals reached their highest level on record. Today’s results for February show that activity remains at exceptionally high levels, with a solid pipeline of activity set to remain in play over the coming months.”

According to Mr Garrett, it is vital that we don’t underestimate the importance of a strong supply of construction projects in the country’s current economic situation. He likened the steady flow of housing approvals to “a welcome pillar of support” in a time of weak overall demand on the domestic level.

“A steady pipeline of new homes represents the most effective solution to alleviating housing affordability pressures. Governments at all levels must work to ensure supply constraints do not impede the continuation of elevated levels of new home construction,” he added.

Strong sales coinciding with strong approvals?

In other positive news for the national construction sector, the HIA also revealed that new home sales across the country hit a fresh “cyclical high” in February. Total seasonally adjusted new house sales jumped 1.1 per cent in February, building on the 1.8 per cent growth from the previous month.

This has put the level of sales above the peak previously reached in April last year, the HIA revealed. Victoria (1.5 per cent) and Queensland (0.2 per cent) were the only two states recording growth in detached house sales in February, with the rest experiencing a drop in sales.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Affairs Coordinator

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