Building Approvals Hit Highest Level on Record

3% higher than record set in August 1994...

Bureau of Statistics figures showed 18,245 dwelling units were approved, seasonally adjusted, up 7.5 per cent on October's approvals.

The Housing industry Association, which represents construction firms, said that total is almost 3 per cent higher than the previous record set all the way back in August 1994.

Commonwealth Bank economist Diana Mousina said the approvals data should drive the number of new homes being built to well above average levels this year. On the forecasts, dwelling commencements in 2014 should total 191,000 and 186,000 in 2015. Such outcomes would represent a significant improvement on the 150,000 average of the previous seven years.

Mousina also said the building boom should have a positive economic flow on effect. Retail spending on home improvement - related items (hardware, building and garden supplies, and furniture and floor coverings) has lifted considerably as new apartments and houses are furnished.

Construction is also very labour - intensive. The evidence to date shows that the lift in jobs in construction - related areas (particularly in residential building) has more than offset mining-related job losses.

Reported on the ABC website 8.1.15


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