home completion rates in western australia back at 2017 levels
WA’s latest home completion levels haven’t been seen since 2017. Image: Canva.
  • Dwelling commencements were down 10.4% between the June and September quarters of 2023.
  • Completion numbers were positive, up 8.2% for the same period.
  • WA completion levels are particularly strong.

Are more homes finally being built?

The latest Building Activity data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows the total number of dwellings commenced, seasonally adjusted, between the June quarter to September quarter 2023 fell 10.4%; between the September quarter 2022 and 2023, total dwelling commencements fell 17.4%.

Number of dwellings commenced, seasonally adjusted

September quarter 2023 number June quarter 2023 to September quarter 2023 percentage change September quarter 2022 to September quarter 2023 percentage change
New private sector houses 22,741 -9.7 -21.9
New private sector other residential 13,485 -11.2 -9.6
Total sector total dwellings 37,116 -10.4 -17.4

Source: ABS.

While commencements were down, completions rose.

According to ABS data, the number of home completions rose between the June and September quarters of 2023, up 8.2%; between the September quarters of 2022 and 2023, completions rose by 1.2%.

Number of dwellings completed, seasonally adjusted

September quarter 2023 number June quarter 2023 to September quarter 2023 percentage change September quarter 2022 to September quarter 2023 percentage change
New private sector houses 27,980 3.7 -0.4
New private sector other residential 15,156 19.5 4.3
Total sector total dwellings 44,093 8.2 1.2

Source: ABS.

Western Australia reaches 2017 levels of home completions

“WA completed 4,599 homes in the September 2023 quarter, the strongest number of
completions since 2017 and a 35% increase on the June 2023 quarter,” said HIA WA executive director, Michael McGowan.

There still remains 19,117 detached homes under construction in Western Australia, down from 20,356 in the June 2023 quarter and down from 21,443 from the beginning of 2022.

“This data is the first real sign that we are beginning to make inroads into what we know have been significant challenges over the last 3 years for the housing industry.”

Michael McGowan, HIA

“For the last three years, we have talked about the ‘Snake that ate the Wombat’ and the
frustration that this has caused consumers and builders. These numbers show that we appear to be making some significant inroads into this volume.

“There has been a significant amount of work done to build capacity in the residential building industry with increased apprentices and skilled migration playing their role to help deliver an increase in completions and getting Western Australians into their new homes.

“We are by no means out of the woods, but we are confident that these number will continue to be repeated over the next twelve to eighteen months and help reduce the significant backlog of homes under construction,” concluded McGowan.

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