The great high-rise apartment bust rolls on

On Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its dwelling approvals data for November, which recorded a modest rebound in apartment approvals:

However, apartment approvals remained 48% below their June 2016 peak.

Today, I want to focus on the high-rise apartment segment, which has driving the apartment bust.

The next chart shows the picture at the national level in annual terms, which shows that high-rise apartment approvals have crashed by 52% since peaking in October 2015:

As shown above, there were 37,602 high-rise apartments approved across the nation in the year to November 2019, well down from the peak of 78,089 in the year to October 2015.

Detached house and townhouse approvals are also falling swiftly; albeit at a slower rate.

Below are the same charts at the state and territory level:

The high-rise apartment approvals crash has been driven by NSW (-54%), VIC (-57%) and QLD (-70%), which have all fallen massively from peak. ACT’s high-rise approvals have also crashed (-48%).

The below chart shows the high-rise bust across the major markets:

The crash is broad-based, nasty and ongoing, despite the modest rebound in November.

Leith van Onselen

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