The Australian Bureau of Statistics today reported that dwelling approvals rose in November 2019 by 0.8 per cent compared to October, with a total of 13,758 buildings approved. 

"The rise was driven by approvals for private sector dwellings excluding houses, which increased by 2.9 per cent in November," ABS Director of Construction Statistics Daniel Rossi said.

"However, private sector houses fell by 0.3 per cent."

The biggest rise in approvals was in South Australia with a 4.2 per cent; NSW saw a 1.6 per cent rise; Victoria 0.7 per cent; and the ACT 0.3 per cent.

"The improvement in approvals in November is consistent with other leading indicators which show that the market started to stabilise around April 2019,” Housing Industry Association economist Tom Devitt said.

“Strong house price recovery in the established market in the second half of 2019 should also bring investors back to the market as well as support an increase in activity across the economy."

Despite the positive news, declines were seen in Northern Territory at 2.6 per cent; Queensland at 1.1 per cent; Western Australia at 1.9 per cent and Queensland at 0.4 per cent, with Tasmania being flat.

In the private sector, NSW was the biggest loser with approvals falling by 3.4 per cent; WA, Queensland, SA and Victoria all saw a rise in private sector approvals.

The seasonally-adjusted estimate for total dwellings approved rose by 11.8 per cent in November, driven by a 22.6 per cent increase in private dwellings excluding houses. 

Private sector houses also rose by 6.1 per cent. 

However, since November 2018, approvals have fallen by 11.8 per cent.

TREND Nov 19 Oct 19 to Nov 19 % Nov 18 to Nov 19 %
Total dwelling units approved 13,758 0.8 -11.8
Private sector houses 8,244 -0.3 -12.7
Private sector dwellings excluding houses 5,345 2.9 -10.8
Total dwelling units approved 14,675 11.8 -3.8
Private sector houses 8,456 6.1 -9.9
Private sector dwellings excluding houses 6,048 22.6 5.5

Approvals slightly up, but value is down

While there was an 0.8 per cent uptick in approvals, the value of total buildings approved fell 2.6 per cent in trend terms, and has fallen for five months. 

The value of residential building fell 0.7 per cent, with non-residential building falling 5 per cent.

Praise for First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

Despite CoreLogic finding flaws in the FHLDS yesterday, HIA economist Tom Devitt said the Scheme introduced on January 1 was a positive step.

"This (the FHLDS) will help support broader activity by assisting more Australians take their first steps towards home ownership," Mr Devitt said. 

“The market nonetheless remains well down from previous years and concerns relating to overly tight credit conditions persist in weighing on the market."

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