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Dwelling approvals rise while engineering construction falls

Dwelling approvals rise in November though work done dropped in September 2021 quarter.

After a fall in October, the number of dwellings approved rose 3.6 per cent in November

Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that dwelling approvals rose in November 2021 while, in September, there was a fall in the amount of engineering construction work performed, though its value increased significantly.

The total number of dwellings approved rose 3.6 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms in November, following a 13.6 per cent fall in October

“The rise in the total number of dwellings approved in November was driven by an increase in approvals for private sector dwellings excluding houses, which rose 9.7 per cent,” ABS director of construction statistics Daniel Rossi says.

“Private sector houses continue to level off, up 1.4 per cent in November, following a 3.5 per cent rise in October. The series has been at historically elevated levels over the past year, largely driven by government stimulus and record low interest rates.

“While private house approvals are no longer at record highs, the November result remains 25.8 per cent higher than the pre-pandemic level in November 2019, indicating on-going strength in the detached housing market.”

Tasmania saw the largest growth in dwelling approvals at 40.8 per cent, with Queensland (20 per cent), South Australia (14.5 per cent) and Victoria (8.9 per cent) also showing increases. New South Wales meanwhile showed a decrease of -18.4 per cent), while Western Australia had a -1.1 per cent fall, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Private sector house approvals also rose in Queensland (7.4 per cent), South Australia (6.4 per cent) and New South Wales (5.4 per cent). Falls were recorded in Western Australia (-12.1 per cent) and Victoria (-0.8 per cent), in seasonally adjusted terms.

The value of total building approved rose 14.8 per cent in November, in seasonally adjusted terms. ABS says that this increase was driven by a 28.3 per cent rise in the value of non-residential building, after a decrease of 20 per cent in October.

The value of total residential building rose 7.1 per cent, comprised of an 8.5 per cent increase in the value of new residential building and a 0.8 per cent fall in alterations and additions.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of total engineering construction work done fell 2.3 per cent in the September quarter to $22.7 billion, with private work falling 3.8 per cent and public sector work falling by 0.1 per cent. However, the value of work commenced in the September quarter was up 26.9 per cent on the June quarter to reach $25 billion.

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