There is still a “historically high level” of construction in the pipeline despite building approvals falling for the third consecutive month.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed there were 14,931 building approvals in April – a 1.1 per cent increase on the year before but a 5.6 per cent decline on the previous month.
Private sector housing approvals reached 9,254, which marked a 16.5 per cent annual increase and a 0.3 per cent monthly decrease.
There were also 5,435 approvals for private sector dwellings excluding houses, which was up 16.6 per cent on the previous year and down 14 per cent on the previous month.
Housing Industry Association economist Geordan Murray said the April figures were “very positive” despite the fact approvals had been falling since the decade-high result in January.
“The pace of building approvals late in 2013 and early 2014 moved well ahead of the pace of home building commencements,” he said.
“So while we have seen building approval activity moderate over recent months, the pipeline of residential building work already approved should sustain a historically high level of activity throughout the middle part of 2014.”
Mr Murray said the building lag had been caused by the disproportionate number of multi-unit dwellings that had been approved.
“The longer build time associated with the larger multi-unit development projects means that work already approved could well sustain activity for some time to come,” he said.