Image – Canva.
  • Demolition numbers outpaced buildings approved
  • March 2021 quarter strongest for demolition approvals
  • Building approvals were down 8.6% for April

The cryptic headline comes as data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows the March 2021 quarter had a surge in building demolitions, and a fall in buildings approved for the month of April.

Building approvals down

ABS data was released today on total dwellings approved.

For the month of April, the seasonally adjusted estimate showed falls of 8.6%.

Dwelling units approved (1)
Source – ABS.

While the monthly change went down, the year on year change saw building approvals up by 39.2%.

Houses, however, saw a small positive movement, up 4.6%, but other buildings like apartments and townhouses were down 28.6%.

Dwellings approved, by building type, seasonally adjusted (1)
Source – ABS.

Values of buildings approved also saw a drop, total values were down more than $12 billion, or 22.6%.

Value of building approved, by building type
Seasonally adjusted
$m Monthly % change
New residential building 7342.1 -7.6
Alterations and additions to residential building 1054.5 -3.8
Total residential building 8396.6 -7.1
Non-residential building 3848.1 -43.2
Total building 12244.8 -22.6

Source – ABS.

Building demolitions up

The ABS data showed that there were 107,294 dwellings that were approved for demolition in the five years to March 2021 quarter.

This quarter just passed saw the largest uptick in demolition activity, with 6,140 dwellings approved to be brought to the ground.

Dwelling demolitions approved, Australia
Source – ABS.

The vast majority of demolitions were houses (95.1%).

New South Wales was the state to have the most demolitions approved, 28,499.

Types of dwellings approved to be demolished, June 2016 quarter to March 2021 quarter
State Houses Other residential Total
New South Wales 27,076 1,423 28,499
Victoria 35,979 1,123 37,102
Queensland 12,618 783 13,401
South Australia 11,969 596 12,565
Western Australia 11,478 721 12,199
Tasmania 417 73 490
Northern Territory 290 29 319
Australian Capital Territory 2,222 497 2,719
Australia 102,049 5,245 107,294

Source – ABS.

Demolitions generally sat equal with new dwelling approvals up until late 2018, when it continued to outpace new housing through to today.

Dwelling demolition approvals and new dwelling approvals, Australia
Source – ABS.
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