WHILE the national residential building market continues to weaken, WA was one of three states bucking the trend, recording a slight increase in dwelling approvals in December according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.
Australia-wide, total new dwelling approvals fell 8.4 per cent during the month, while they rose 1.1 per cent in WA, 1.7 per cent in the NT and 5.6 per cent in SA.
Nationally, the market for apartments and units was the hardest hit, recording a drop of 18.6 per cent.
Master Builders housing director Jason Robertson said new apartment approvals had not been this low since July 2012.
“The continued faltering of new home building activity nationally has been occurring against the backdrop of falling house prices, the Royal Commission into the financial services sector and uncertainty about what national housing policy will look like after the upcoming Federal election,” he said.
“One of the defining topics of the election will be housing affordability and the strength of the building sector, which has a huge impact on the economy.
Mr Robertson said WA’s results were a bright spot, but the road to recovery for the local market would be slow and subdued.
“When planning policy, the WA government needs to be aware of the difficulties facing the sector and the effect of uncertain international economic conditions,” he said