April Building Approvals Hit New Low

Master Builders Australia

Newly released Australian Bureau of Statistics data on new building approvals has shown yet another month of decline, with detached house approvals down one per cent and higher density dwellings 7.5 per cent down on a year ago.

Master Builders Australia’s Chief Economist Shane Garrett said the new data covering the month of April this year shows a concerning trend which, if it were to continue, would see us fall well short of the National Housing Accord target.

“The new National Housing Accord kicks off in less than five weeks’ time and envisages 240,000 new homes each year. However, the past 12 months have seen less than 163,500 new home building approvals across Australia. “Just 60,600 higher density dwellings were approved over the year to April. This is the lowest total for any 12-month period since September 2012 almost 12 years ago.

“The challenge is massive, not impossible, but requires a 47 per cent increase in the volume of new home building output,” Mr Garrett said.

Denita Wawn, Chief Executive of Master Builders Australia, said governments across the country must do more to get construction activity moving upwards.

“We have to rapidly increase housing production to reach Housing Accord targets, but some in government have left the handbrake on. “The hurdles are clear to everyone, approval delays, tradie shortages, material cost inflation, out of touch industrial relations changes, inefficient regulation and more.

“We’re beginning to sound like a broken record, but the situation is critical. If we don’t clear the obstacles stopping builders from getting on with the job, we won’t have any hope of reaching the 1.2 million new home target by 2029.

“The community is crying out for more housing supply, but if we don’t urgently clear the way for builders to get on with the job, demand will continue to dwarf supply, and Australian’s will continue to feel the impacts of the housing crisis,” Ms Wawn said.

/Public Release.