The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released building activity data for the September quarter, the highlight of which is the fall in the total number of dwellings completed on the back of a big fall in apartment building.
According to the ABS, the total number of dwellings completed over the quarter fell by a seasonally-adjusted 526 units (-1.4%), with apartment building falling by -1,041 (-7.2%), partly offset by a 515 (+2.3%) increase in detached house construction:
Despite this quarter’s small fall, dwelling completions are running well above the March quarter’s levels, whereby dwelling completions fell to decade lows. Nevertheless, dwelling construction remains depressed, with the total annual number of homes constructed still tracking below the 28-year average despite Australia’s population growing by around 40% over that time:
The number of dwellings constructed fell in all mainland states and territories in the September quarter, except New South Wales and Western Australia:
We know from the latest dwelling approvals data that the number of dwelling approvals has picked-up in recent months, but remains fairly depressed overall, signalling only a weak recovery in the rate of dwelling construction:
The construction industry will be pinning its hopes on further interest rates cuts and new home incentives recently introduced in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. If these changes fail to reinvigorate new home sales and construction, the construction industry could be staring down the barrel of further cutbacks and job losses.