Australia’s high-rise apartment market still stuck in doldrums

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday released its dwelling approvals data for October, which revealed that apartment approvals have fallen 62% below their November 2017 peak, while detached approvals are falling from their April HomeBuilder record highs:

Below are a series of charts that track approvals by housing segment in rolling annual terms nationally and across the major states.


Nationally, you can clearly see the impact of HomeBuilder, with detached house approvals running near record highs while high-rise apartment approvals are running 49% below their October 2015 peak:

New South Wales

Detached house and townhouse approvals have fallen sharply from peak in NSW, while high-rise apartment approvals are rebounding from recent lows.


House approvals are running close to a record high in Victoria, while high-rise apartment approvals have collapsed.


House approvals have rebounded to 2008 highs in Queensland, while high-rise apartment approvals are rebounding from recent lows.

Western Australia

House approvals have climbed to their highest level since 2015 in Perth.

South Australia

Detached house approvals have hit a record high in South Australia.

Finally, here is a chart tracking high-rise apartment approvals across the major jurisdictions and nationally:

Without hordes of migrants and international students arriving, there was less need for so many high-rise apartments to be built – one of the few positives to arise from COVID.

However, with the federal government hell bent on rebooting the mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ program, and promising 200,000 migrant arrivals by July, the high-rise apartment segment should roar back to life.

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