HomeBuilder stimulus causing surge in new houses: ABS

By Cameron Micallef 08 January 2021 | 1 minute read

Housing schemes such as HomeBuilder and historically low-interest rates are causing a surge in new properties being built in Australia, official stats have shown.


The latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have shown private sector house approvals rose for the fifth consecutive month in November for the first time since December 1999.

In November, dwelling approval across commercial and residential properties rose by 2.6 per cent compared with October figures.

Daniel Rossi, director of construction statistics at the ABS highlighted the rise in new building approvals is a result of government stimulus measures aimed at boosting the economy due to the COVID-19 downturn.

Approvals for private houses have surged 40 per cent since June. Federal and state housing stimulus measures and low interest rates have resulted in strong demand for detached dwellings,” he said.

Approvals for private houses rose 6.1 per cent in November, while dwellings excluding houses remain at subdued levels, falling 3.9 per cent. 

HIA’s economist Angela Lillicrap said detached building approvals are continuing to go from strength to strength. 

“HIA New Home Sales data suggests that detached house building approvals will continue to be strong over the coming months. The extension of HomeBuilder at the end of November is not a factor in this month’s result but will see the strength in detached house approvals extend into 2021,” she said.

While coming from a low level of activity, HIA state the Northern Territory has seen the largest improvement over the last three months with detached housing approval more than doubling by the same time last year.  

“Western Australia follows closely behind with an increase of 89.1 per cent in the three months to November compared to the same period last year. This is due to the pent up demand for new housing in the state, combining with HomeBuilder and the state government stimulus measures,” Ms Lillicrap explained. 

However, while detached houses are showing strong signs, multi-unit approvals have not experienced the same levels of growth. 

“Multi-unit approvals remain 9.7 per cent lower in the three months to November 2020 compared to same time a year earlier,” concluded Ms Lillicrap.

“The multi-unit projects that gained approval in November likely commenced the planning and building approval process years ago.

“The apartment market is likely to be constrained going into 2021 due to slower population growth and a stronger preference for detached houses.”

About the author

Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your... Read more

HomeBuilder stimulus causing surge in new houses: ABS
HomeBuilder stimulus causing surge in new houses: ABS
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