The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released the Building Approvals data for the month of November. At the national level, the number of dwelling approvals rose by a seasonally adjusted 2.9% to 13,307, driven predominantly by a 10.1% increase in approvals for private sector units and apartments. Consensus was for a total rise of 3.0%.
The prior month’s approvals were also revised upwards by 3.1%, from 12,540 to 12,932.
In the year to November 2012, dwelling approvals rose by a seasonally-adjusted 13.2%. The key figures are provided in the below table:
A chart showing the time series of seasonally-adjusted dwelling approvals at the national level is provided below, split-out by detached houses and units & apartments:
As you can see, dwelling approvals nationally were trending down since early 2010, but received a large boost in May and June when the number of unit & apartment approvals bounced. This unit and apartments boom retraced momentarily before rising once more.
Monthly dwelling approvals are now running in-line with long-term average levels, as shown by the below chart. However, they remain fairly depressed in population-adjusted terms, given that Australia’s population has grown by more than 40% over the past 30-years.
The below chart shows the time-series of approvals at the state level.
This month’s rise in dwelling approvals was driven by Victoria, where approvals rose by 9% (+355). The ACT (+99% or +243 dwelling units) and the NT (+138% or +94 dwelling units) also experienced big increases, whereas approvals in New South Wales (-4% or -133 dwelling units) and South Australia (-14% or -112 dwelling units) fell significantly over the month.