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Building approvals slump

by Staff Reporter11 minute read
The Adviser

Staff Reporter

The number of residential building approvals fell by 5.5 per cent during March, marking the largest monthly decline since July 2012.

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the decline in approvals for units was particularly pronounced in March, with a fall of 7.7 per cent recorded.

“This is in comparison to the 4.1 per cent decline in detached house approvals during March,” Housing Industry Association economist Shane Garrett said.


“When we take a longer view of today’s data, the picture is a little more encouraging. Approvals in March were 3.9 per cent higher than 12 months previously.

“For the first quarter of 2013, total approvals rose by 8.8 per cent compared with the same period in 2012.

“The sharp decline in approvals during March underlines the delicate state of Australia’s housing market. A tentative recovery does appear to be underway but it remains delicate

“Every positive indicator on housing seems to be quickly followed by negative data in relation to other aspects of the market. The government must bear this in mind when prescribing policy measures.

“The housing industry is in a sensitive state and the need for supportive action from government at this time is great. There remains huge scope for policy intervention, especially with regard to inefficient taxes on housing. We urge the government not to ignore these opportunities in the Budget tabled for later this month.”

In March 2013, total seasonally adjusted building approvals increased by 13.3 per cent in Queensland and by 0.6 per cent in Western Australia.

Decreases in building approvals were recorded in South Australia, which saw a 23.5 per cent drop and New South Wales, which recorded a 10.9 per cent fall.

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