An unexpected increase in building approvals is breathing hope into the residential construction cycle.
According to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the number of dwellings approved rose 0.9% in November 2017, in trend terms, for the tenth month in a row.
In seasonally adjusted terms, dwelling approvals increased by 11.7% in November; driven by a 30.6% rise in private dwellings excluding houses.
Meanwhile, private house approvals declined 2%.
The overall increase is being driven by apartments and construction activity in Victoria.
Dwelling approvals increased the most in Victoria (+5.6%), followed by Tasmania (+3.1%) and South Australia (+0.1%). The Australia Capital Territory (-21.9%), Northern Territory (-3.8%), Queensland (-1.2%), New South Wales (-0.9), and Western Australia (-0.6%) all saw declines in trend terms.
“Dwelling approvals have continued to rise in recent months, which has been driven by renewed strength in approvals for apartments,” said Justin Lokhorst, Director of Construction Statistics at the ABS.
Private sector house approvals increased in SA (+1.3%) and Victoria (+1.1%) but fell in WA (-3.3%), NSW (-0.8%) and Queensland (-0.4%).
“Approvals for private sector houses have remained stable, with just under 10,000 houses approved in November 2017,” Lokhurst added.