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Figures released today show that building approvals declined in July, but are still well above pre-COVID levels.

That’s probably no great surprise given the impact of the HomeBuilder grant over the last year or so.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics numbers revealed that building approvals dropped 8.6% in July, which is the fourth straight month of declines since the HomeBuilder scheme ended in March.

Apartments fared the worst, dropping 12.3%, whist new houses dropped at a more modest 5.8%.

Whilst news of another month of declining numbers sounds scary, it’s actually still pretty good when you look back a little further.

The numbers for July 2021 are still 28% higher than July 2020, and 36% more than 2019.

The increase from 2020 is no great surprise given the pandemic, but to be so far above 2019 is very positive.

Senior economist at the CBA, Kristina Clifton, said there was “likely to be a further unwinding in approvals for detached housing to more ‘normal’ levels”.

“So far, from the price side, the housing market has been very resilient in the face of the pandemic, and we expect that to remain the case.”

Queensland continues to be one of the most attractive markets in Australia, and actually saw an increase in building approvals whilst the other states saw declines.

Housing approvals in Queensland were up 8.3%, whilst South Australia suffered the biggest drop with a 24% reduction. NSW was down 4.2%, Victoria down 7.3% and Western Australia down 6.9%.

How have you been going out there?

In terms of new builds, do you feel that there is more work around, or less? And how are you feeling about the near future?

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New building sentiment

How do you feel about the housing construction market?

Building Approvals - July 2021

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