Further drop in building approvals amid more challenging backdrop

There was a further drop in the number of new homes approved for building across Australia during April 2022.Latest ABS data indicate that there was a 2.4 per cent drop in the total number of new homes receiving building approval during the month. Compared with a year earlier, the volume of approvals is down by some 32.4 per cent.

Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said, “The sharp decline in approvals over the past year is the result of a number of factors. These include the phasing out of the HomeBuilder scheme as well as emergence of challenges in the business environment. The cost of building materials is growing at its fastest rate in over 40 years while delays and shortages with respect to both labour and products continue to obstruct building activity.”

“Even so, these figures do indicate that demand for new detached house building is holding up reasonably well. There was a 0.5 per cent increase in approvals for detached houses during April and the level of activity is still a bit higher than it was immediately before the start of the pandemic,” she said.

“In contrast, approvals for medium and high-density homes are much lower than their pre-pandemic levels. April saw a 6.1 per cent drop in approvals in this category. We do expect demand for higher density homes to recover once inward migration to Australia moves closer to where it was before the pandemic,” Denita Wawn said.

“For our industry, the most immediate challenge relates to the supply of building products and the people we need to carry out the work. We look to working with the new Federal Government to assist with finding and delivering solutions,” Denita Wawn said.