Residential Construction Starts at All-Time High

Thursday, January 15th, 2015
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Building activity figures released by the ABS today show that more dwellings were commenced in the September quarter than in any quarter since records began in the mid-1980s.

The ABS figures show that detached dwelling commencements increased by 0.8 per cent in the September 2014 quarter, while ‘other dwelling’ (predominantly multi-unit dwellings) rebounded by 30.2 per cent. In aggregate, the total number of dwellings commenced increased by 12.5 per cent in the quarter to reach 52,380, a new record.

“With New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, the four largest states, all recording their strongest quarters on record for multi-unit dwelling commencements at the same time, there is little surprise that activity reached a new record. Furthermore, another incremental increase in detached dwelling starts sees this part of the market record the strongest quarterly result since 2010,” said HIA Senior Economist Shane Garrett.

“This result confirms that residential building activity was tracking along at a very strong level during 2014. However, part of the particularly strong September quarter result can be attributed to a ‘catchup’ after the rather disappointing result in the June quarter when the number of starts fell well short of expectations.”

“Following the surge in residential buildings approved in late 2013 and early 2014, there was a substantial accumulation of multi-unit residential building projects that had obtained approval but did not commence construction in the first half of the year. The figures released today confirm that much of the activity in the pipeline entered the construction phase in the September quarter.”

During the September 2014 quarter, new home starts increased in all states with the exception of South Australia where activity fell by 5.7 per cent. Activity in New South Wales increased by 30.7 per cent, in Victoria by 0.9 per cent, in Queensland by 18.1 per cent, in Western Australia by 5.1 per cent, in Tasmania by 2.9 per cent, in the Northern Territory by 9.6 per cent and by 22.8 per cent in the ACT.

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