Private sector house approvals rose for the fifth consecutive month in November and, seasonally adjusted, were at the highest recorded level since December 1999, according to the ABS.
Approvals for private houses surged 40 per cent since June, with demand for detached dwellings driven largely by federal and state housing stimulus and low interest rates, according to Daniel Rossi, director of construction statistics at the ABS.
Supporting the ABS data, HIA economist Angela Lillicrap said: “While HomeBuilder was the catalyst for improving consumer confidence in the housing market, the strength of detached building approvals is due to several factors, including low interest rates.”
Detached house approvals increased by 24.8 per cent in the three months to November 2020
compared with the preceding three months. Compared with the same time last year, approvals were 31.4 per cent higher, HIA found.
In November alone, ABS data indicated that approvals for private houses rose 6.1 per cent, while dwellings excluding houses remain at subdued levels, falling 3.9 per cent.
Approvals for private sector houses rose in all states in November, with Queensland leading the charge at 17.0 per cent, followed by Western Australia (7.5 per cent), South Australia (2.8 per cent), Victoria (1.5 per cent) and NSW (0.7 per cent).
The value of total building approved fell 8.4 per cent in November, in seasonally adjusted terms. ABS found that the value of non-residential building drove the decrease, falling 27.4 per cent after a strong October result (the highest since August 2019).
“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,” Ms Lillicrap highlighted.
Meanwhile, the total number of dwellings approved rose 2.6 per cent in November, in seasonally adjusted terms.
South Australia emerged with the highest rise in total dwellings with 18.8 per cent, followed by Queensland with 6.5 per cent and NSW with 1.5 per cent.
On the other hand, total dwellings declined in Western Australia (5.4 per cent), Victoria (4.6 per cent) and Tasmania (0.4 per cent).
The value of total residential building increased 5.7 per cent, comprising a 5.7 per cent rise in new residential building, and a 5.6 per cent increase in alterations and additions.
According to ABS data, the value of residential alterations and additions reached an all-time high in November.