Going strong into Spring: Capital city dwelling approvals remain on the up

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released building approvals data for July last week, the data shows that across the capital cities the new pipeline of development is significant and growing.

Building approvals data released last week showed that there had been a rebound in the number of dwellings approvals at a national level.

Looking exclusively at the capital city markets, there were 15,570 new dwelling approvals in July 2015, an 8.4% rise over the month.

Approvals breakdown

Over the month there were 7,206 houses and 8,364 units.

No 1

House approvals increased by 8.6% over the month and unit approvals rose 8.2%.

Year-on-year capital city house approvals fell by -0.5% compared to a 36.2% rise in unit approvals.

Since October 2014 there has consistently been more capital city unit approvals than house approvals each month.

Over the 12 months to July 2015 there has been 174,242 dwelling approvals across the combined capital cities.

It is largely the Eastern Seaboard capital cities and Perth where new construction activity is booming.No 3

No 4

Record High approvals

Annual dwelling approvals are currently at a record high in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and not far from their record high in Perth.


Over the 12 months there were a record high 46,134 dwelling approvals, a rise of 17.2% over the year.

There were 15,213 houses and 30,921 units approved over the year with annual rises of 22.4% and 14.8% respectively.


There were a record high 57,140 dwelling approvals over the 12 months to July 2015, a rise of 27.3% over the year.


House approvals (23,326) rose 10.6% over the year compared to a larger 42.0% rise in unit approvals (33,814).


Over the year to July 2015 dwelling approvals rose 33.3% to reach a record high 28,058.

Breaking the results down, there were 11,003 houses approvals, a rise of 19.9% over the year and 17,055 unit approvals recording a rise of 43.7%.


There were 5,436 houses and 3,324 units approved in the city over the 12 months to July 2015 resulting in 8,760 dwelling approvals.

Over the year, house approvals fell -9.7% and unit approvals increased by 28.1%.


Over the past year, dwelling approvals increased by 4.5% to reach 27,211.

There were 19,026 houses and 8,185 units approvals with house approvals falling -3.3% compared to a 28.8% rise in unit approvals over the year.


The city recorded 1,006 houses and 206 units approved for construction over the past year.

House approvals rose 36.1% and unit approvals were 186.1% higher.

As a result there were 1,212 dwelling approvals over the year, an annual rise of 49.4%.


Over the year to 1,491 dwelling approvals over the 12 months to July 2015 a -21.9% annual fall.

The 848 house approvals represented a 16.6% annual rise while the 643 unit approvals represented a -45.6% annual fall.



There were 1,259 houses and 2,977 units approved across the city over the 12 months to July 2015.

Over the year house approvals fell by -26.8% and unit approvals rose 25.2%.

In each of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra there were more unit approvals than houses over the year.

This is reflective of both changing lifestyle preferences as well as an attempt to offer more affordable housing options and create a better mix of housing alternatives along existing transport spines and around significant working nodes.

The data also indicates a record high pipeline of new residential construction, most of which are units.

The construction period for units can be over a number of years which means the economic benefit of all these new approvals is likely to be stretched over a longer timeframe


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Cameron Kusher is Corelogic RP Data’s senior research analyst. Cameron has a thorough understanding of the fundamentals such as demographics, trends & economics. Visit www.corelogic.com.au

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