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Building approvals weak despite modest lift

by Staff Reporter9 minute read
The Adviser

Staff Reporter

Building approvals rose slightly last month, but not enough to offset previous falls, new data has revealed.

According to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, seasonally adjusted building approvals rose by 1 per cent in July, but remained 6.4 per cent down over the last three months.

“The core detached housing sector was down by 0.1 per cent for the month and unfortunately further highlights the weakness within the new home building industry at this point in time,” Housing Industry Association senior economist Andrew Harvey said.

“Twelve months of trend decline in approvals in part reflects the weak business and consumer sentiment that exists in the non-resource economy at the moment.

"However, this weaker environment does bring with it a couple of upsides for potential homebuyers. Increasingly, the RBA has no option but to either cut rates or keep them on hold for a sustained period and this in itself would add to the confidence of consumers and prospective home buyers.

“Second, as residential building levels have dropped off, builders have had to become increasingly competitive which means there are some very good buying opportunities for those in the hunt for a new home.”

In seasonally adjusted terms, detached house approvals fell by 4.1 per cent in the three months to July 2011 to be down by 13.1 per cent on the same period a year ago. Approvals for ‘other dwellings’ fell by 10 per cent in the three months to July 2011 to be down by 15 per cent on the same period a year ago.

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