The total number of new dwelling units approved was recorded at 17,791 in May, down by 3.2 per cent on the previous month. Over the year total dwelling approvals are still up slightly, but have moderated over the first half of 2018, particularly for detached housing.
New apartment approvals have performed better, up by 4.3 per cent in the month. We expect these trends to show up in the activity numbers over the next six months or so.
This latest ABS data continues to support Master Builders’ view that the trough in the residential building and construction cycle is likely to be moderate and short lived.
2018 is shaping up to be one of the best years on record for non-residential building activity. The total value of non-residential approvals surged by 40 per cent in May. Over the year to May the value of non-residential building approvals are up by around 6 per cent and the total value of projects approved topped $46.5 billion.
This very healthy pipeline of work is expected to support growth in the commercial construction sector for the next few years at least.
The challenge now will be to ensure we have access to the rights skills and resources to get the job done.