More pain for building industry with approvals falling again

Stock image.
Stock image.

APPROVALS for detached houses have dropped to their lowest level since June 2013 according to the Master Builders.

“Building approvals in April 2019 indicate that the number of approvals for all categories of new dwelling fell by 4.7 per cent during the month,” chief economist Shane Garrett said.

“New detached house approvals dropped by 2.9 per cent while the volume of approvals for apartments/units saw a 7.2 per cent fall.

“Total approvals are now down by 24.2 per cent over the past year.”

Mr Garrett said since the beginning of the new home building downturn in late 2017, the bulk of the pain had been concentrated in the high density segment of the market, but that had changed.

“With the (Australian Bureau of Statistics) figures now showing detached house approvals at a 6-year low, it is ominous that the weakness in new home building is spreading to those parts of the market which are traditionally more resilient during downturns,” he said.

“Obviously, these figures relate to the month immediately prior to the Federal Election and the political uncertainty which was then at play has contributed to the weaker results for April.

“Now that there has been a clear conclusion to the election, a real opportunity exists to push home building activity back in the right direction.”

New home approvals fell 6.7 per cent in WA in April and were down 11.0 per cent from the same time last year.

Master Builders WA housing director Jason Robertson said 16,269 new dwellings were approved in the year to April 2019, compared with 18,688 in the year to April 2018.

Detached housing approvals were up 1.8 per cent for the month, but apartment/unit approvals were 30.5 per cent lower.

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