Latest building approval stats in

By Emma Ryan 05 June 2020 | 1 minute read

New data has provided insight into building approvals data, which details projects lodged with local councils largely pre-COVID-19.

HIA chief economist Tim Reardon

The latest ABS data showed building approvals rose 7.3 per cent in the three months to April 2020, in comparison to the previous three months.

“Detached house approvals were 1.5 per cent higher in the three months to April 2020 compared to the previous three months and 0.3 per cent higher than the same time last year,” explained HIA chief economist Tim Reardon.

“Multi-unit approvals increased by 16.0 per cent in the three months to April 2020 compared to the previous three months and are 1.5 per cent higher than the same time last year.

“All states recorded a monthly increase in approvals with the exception of New South Wales, which declined by 29.9 per cent during April driven by a fall in multi-unit approvals.”


As most of the data was recorded prior to the pandemic, the full effects of it on the building industry won’t be known for another couple of months, according to Mr Reardon. 

“Building approvals data released today by the ABS relates to projects lodged with local councils well before the impact of COVID-19 conditions,” he said.

“Due to the lag between project development and design, submitting an application for a building approval and obtaining an approval, the majority of these projects would have been envisaged at the start of the year or in 2019, when the housing market was gaining momentum.

“We do not expect building approvals data to reflect the post-COVID-19 impact until August.”

The latest data shows building approvals, in seasonally adjusted terms, recorded the following results for the three months to April 2020:

  • Tasmania (+18.4 per cent)
  • NSW (+10.9 per cent)
  • Western Australia (+10.4 per cent)
  • Victoria (+9.3 per cent)
  • Queensland (-1.4 per cent)
  • South Australia (-2.5 per cent)

In trend terms, the Northern Territory increased by 28.2 per cent and the ACT increased by 18.7 per cent, the statistics showed.

About the author

Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan is the deputy head of content at Momentum Media.

Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015, and has since been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia, including across the legal, mortgages, real estate and wealth industries. In addition, Emma has launched several additional sub-brands and events, driven by a passion to deliver quality and timely content to audiences through multiple platforms.

Email Emma on: [email protected]Read more

Latest building approval stats in
HIA chief economist Tim Reardon
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