Approvals for new homes in Australia bounced back towards the end of last year and are expected to remain positive in 2017.
They increased by 7% in November compared to the previous month, according to the figures published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
But more apartments than houses are being built. Apartment approvals increased by 17.3% but detached homes approvals were down by 0.4%.
But Shane Garrett, senior economist with the Housing Industry Association, which represents the residential building industry, pointed out that over recent months detached house approvals have been more stable than apartments.
The data also shows that although there was a strong month on month rise in approvals they were still 4.8% lower than in November 2015, but the outlook for construction is still positive according to Garrett.
‘The year 2016 was a record one for new dwelling commencements and this will ensure that the volume of residential building activity remains elevated over much of 2017,’ he said.
‘However, we anticipate that new dwelling starts will decline over the next 12 months, with this likely to be felt on the ground towards the end of this year,’ he added.
A breakdown of the figures shows that the largest increase in seasonally adjusted dwelling approvals was in Western Australia with growth of 24.4% in November, followed by Victoria up 9.4% and South Australia up 7.1%.
The volume of approvals also rose in Tasmania by 5.2% and New South Wales by 5.1% but in Queensland dwelling approvals fell by 4.6% during the month. In trend terms, approvals declined by 5.1%in the Northern Territories and were down by 3.4% in the ACT.