Housing approvals buck trend in one state

By Staff Reporter

New housing approvals are on the rise in one state, which many are taking as a sign of confidence, according to recent announcements.

From April 2011 to November 2012 in New South Wales an increase of 17 per cent on the previous five-yearly average in housing approvals has been noted by the state government.

This compares to a two per cent drop across the rest of the country over the same period.

Monthly approvals previously numbered 2,578 dwelling, and since March 2011 this has averaged 2,930 per month, a rise of 14 per cent.

“Figures released today show the November 2012 approvals remained strong at 3,525 (only slightly less than the October peak of 4,159 approvals – the strongest since May 2004),” said planning and infrastructure minister, Brad Hazzard.

“The average increase in housing approvals in NSW is particularly significant against the backdrop of an average fall in other states across Australia,” he said.

This may be a result of less red tape and a streamlined approval system.

However, while NSW is seeing success over the long-term averages, it saw a decrease over the November month and other states also didn't fare well.

Even as national dwelling approvals increased by 2.9 per cent, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) said the result overshadowed some poor state-based results.

“Victoria was the only state which recorded an increase in dwelling approvals in November, posting an increase of 8.7 per cent,” said HIA economist Geordan Murray.

“The improvement was driven by a rebound in approvals for multi-unit dwellings after a relatively soft result a month earlier.

“Concurrent declines in all other states and territories is concerning, although the modest declines observed in the larger states were insufficient to cause a decline in the national total.”

“Lower lending rates in the latter half of 2012 provided one of the necessary preconditions for an improvement in new home building and we are watching for the impact of the state-based reforms to first home buyer incentives in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania to flow through to approvals data over coming months.”

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