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Building approvals pick up in March

Staff Reporter 4 minute read

By: Belinda Luc

Despite the recovery in building approval numbers in March, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) says more buildings are required to bring relief to Australian’s housing shortage.

Monthly building approvals grew 15.3 per cent in March 2010, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Compared to 12 months ago, approvals for the March quarter were up a very healthy 47 per cent.

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“The strong result supports HIA’s forecast that housing construction will be much stronger over 2010 with housing starts expected to be up 18 per cent on a very weak 2009,” HIA senior economist Ben Phillips said.

But despite the latest figures, Mr Phillips said any further interest rate increases through 2010 could result in a drop in building approval numbers and housing activity.

“Such a result would…spell further bad news on the housing affordability front, especially for first home buyers and renters attempting to get into home ownership,” Mr Phillips said.

Across the states, NSW experienced the greatest percentage of residential dwelling approvals at 43.4 per cent (seasonally adjusted).

South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and followed with 24.4 per cent, 13.3 per cent, 8.2 per cent respectively, while the percentage of approvals fell elsewhere across the nation.

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Building approvals pick up in March
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