The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released dwelling approvals data for the month of August. At the national level, the number of dwelling approvals fell by a seasonally adjusted 1.1% to 12,817. The overall slump in approvals was driven by houses (-2.4%) with units (+3.1%) rebounding.
In the year to August 2019, dwelling approvals crashed by a seasonally-adjusted 21.5%, with house approvals down 17.0% and unit approvals tanking by 28.9%:
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:
Dwelling approvals have crashed in trend terms, driven by units & apartments:
Since initially peaking in March 2015, dwelling approvals nationally are down by 37% in trend terms.
Approvals have fallen fast in rolling annual terms:
There were 179,633 approvals in the year to August 2019 – way below the peak of 242,268 approvals in the year to August 2016 – with most of this growth in approvals coming from units and apartments, which are still running well above the 30-year average.
The below chart shows the time-series of approvals at the state level on a trend basis, with massive busts recorded across the major markets:
The dwelling construction bust has gone from bad to worse.