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  • Decline is 24.9% lower than March peak
  • Private sector dwellings excluding houses fell the most
  • Queensland bucked the trend, recording a rise

The number of dwellings continues to decline nationally for the fourth consecutive month, with seasonally adjusted data recording an 8.6% fall in July.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said the decline is 24.9% lower than the peak recorded in March.

“The decline in the total number of dwellings approved in July was broad-based, with private sector houses falling 5.8 per cent and approvals in private sector dwellings excluding houses falling 12.3 per cent,” said Daniel Rossie, ABS Director of Construction Statistics.

“Since the unwinding of stimulus measures and the return of lockdowns across parts of New South Wales and Victoria, approvals for private houses have fallen 24.4 per cent from the record high in April.

Daniel Rossie, ABS Director of Construction Statistics

“Despite the fall, private house approvals remain at elevated levels and are 28.0 per cent higher than July 2020 and 36.0 per cent higher than July 2019,” he said.

The number of dwelling approvals fell the most in South Australia by 17.9% – not surprising given the state had the highest number of HomeBuilder applications per capita – followed by Tasmania (-15.3%) and WA (-11.3%). Bucking the trend was Queensland where approvals rose by 9%.

Approvals for private sector houses fell in South Australia by 23.9%, while rising in Queensland by 8.3%.

The value of total building fell by 15.9% with non-residential falling by 30.5% – 47% lower than the March peak.

Despite the ongoing decline, it should be noted that July figures are still significantly higher than the levels seen throughout most of 2020, 2019 and late 2018. At its lowest point,  total dwellings tanked in June 2020 with 12,703 approvals – the lowest since July 2012.

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