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Home arrow News arrow Australasia arrow New home approvals fell again in Australia in March after revival in previous month

New home approvals fell again in Australia in March after revival in previous month

Monday, 06 May 2013
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The number of residential building approvals in Australia fell by 5.5% during March, the largest monthly decline since July of last year.

The latest figures represent a disappointing reversal of the growth which occurred in February, according to the Housing Industry Association, the voice of Australia’s residential building industry.
 
‘The decline in approvals for units was particularly pronounced in March with a fall of 7.7% occurring. This is in comparison to the 4.1% decline in detached house approvals during March,’ said HIA senior economist, Shane Garrett.

However, he pointed out that a slightly longer view presents a more encouraging picture. Approvals in March were 3.9% higher than the 12 months previously. For the first quarter of 2013, total approvals rose by 8.8% compared with the same period in 2012.

‘The sharp decline in approvals during March underlines the delicate state of Australia’s housing market. A tentative recovery does appear to be underway but it remains delicate,’ he explained.

‘Every positive indicator on housing seems to be quickly followed by negative data in relation to other aspects of the market. The government must bear this in mind when prescribing policy measures. The housing industry is in a sensitive state and the need for supportive action from government at this time is great,’ he added.

The HIA believes that there is a need for policy intervention to boost the new homes market, especially with regard to inefficient taxes on housing. ‘We urge the government not to ignore these opportunities in the Budget tabled for later this month,’ said Garrett.
 
As is usual, the figures show some regional variations. Total seasonally adjusted building approvals increased in Queensland by 13.3% and in Western Australia by 0.6% during March.
 
But building approvals fell by 23.5% in South Australia, by 10.9% in New South Wales, by 9.1% in Victoria and by 0.3% in Tasmania.

In trend terms building approvals in the Northern Territory rose by 11.9% but fell by 1.2% in the ACT during March 2013 compared with the previous month.


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