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Building Approvals Show Australia Sliding Further Behind on Housing Targets

Today’s Australian Bureau of Statistics release of Building Approvals show total dwelling approvals are 14% lower than 12 months ago and things will get much worse before they get better.

In addition, detached house approvals are down 13% on a rolling 12 month basis and are 9% lower than the long run average. This means we are going to build less than ever before, which pulls us further away from hitting the Government’s ambitious (and necessary) 1.2m housing target.

“The reality is that instead of unlocking land supply and fast-tracking approvals, we have less approvals than we did 12 months ago and this needs to be reversed as a priority,” said Col Dutton, UDIA National President.

“UDIA analysis indicates that there is a 22% attrition rate between approvals and actual dwelling completions, which means the drop in housing greater than the number suggest. We urgently need to boost housing supply across the entire continuum and especially housing for the vast majority of ordinary Australians facing cost of living pressures,” he said.

While multi-unit approvals firmed by 19% in the month of October, this result is still 19% lower than the long run monthly average and14% lower than 12 month ago. The downward trajectory of national dwelling approvals is underpinned by increasing fragility/weakness in the multi-unit sector, which continues to undermine modest improvements in detached approvals.

Apartment approvals are particularly under-weight nationally, down 17% on a rolling three month rolling change, down 13% on a rolling 12 month basis with the October volume of apartments down 31% on the long run average.

As the graph below shows, we are approving 30% less apartments than we do historically and we are nowhere near reaching the targets we need to reach the 1.2m homes committed to under the National Accord.


Source: UDIA; ABS

“From an industry perspective it shows how urgently we need to see supply boosting measures across the board include accelerating approvals for all housing, increased development ready land and enabling infrastructure to help build our communities –  this is what home owners across Australia are waiting for,” said Mr Dutton.


Media Enquiries:
Deanna Lane | Director, National Media & Communications | 0416 295 898 | media@udia.com.au