According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), private sector house approvals rose for the fifth consecutive month, and were at the highest-recorded level in 21 years.

New residential buildings increased 5.7% in value in November to more than $5.8 billion.

Private sector housing approvals rose in all states, with Queensland leading, up 17%. 

Total dwellings approved overall rose 2.6% in November in seasonally-adjusted terms, while unit or apartment (private sector excluding houses) construction fell 3.9%.

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The value of private sector housing built amounted to $3.83 billion in November, with 11,489 private houses built, for an average value of $333,432.

ABS director of construction statistics said aside from housing, dwelling construction is at a "subdued" level.

"Approvals for private houses have surged 40% since June. Federal and state housing stimulus measures and low interest rates have resulted in strong demand for detached dwellings," he said.

"Approvals for private houses rose 6.1%  in November, while dwellings excluding houses remain at subdued levels, falling 3.9%," he said.

Alterations value increased 5.6% to $855.4 million in original terms in November.

The total number of alterations and additions approved amounted to 10,328, for an average value of $82,821- under the $150,000 HomeBuilder renovation threshold.

This represents a slight fall from October's average renovation value of $82,922. 

HomeBuilder has coincided with an uptick in overall renovation activity, with figures trending upwards from lows of less than $700 million in April.

However, prior to the HomeBuilder policy being announced in June, in May 2020, average alteration value was $85,427 - higher than it was in November, albeit at much lower volumes (7,900 alterations approved in May).

Roughly 16% of renovations, according to ABS figures, fell within the HomeBuilder thresholds, for a total value of just under $440 million out of a total $855 million.

Housing Industry Association (HIA) economist Angela Lillicrap pointed to a promising 2021.

"HIA new home sales data suggests that detached house building approvals will continue to be strong over the coming months," she said.

"The extension of HomeBuilder at the end of November is not a factor in this month’s result but will see the strength in detached house approvals extend into 2021."

Photo by R ARCHITECTURE on Unsplash

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