Building approvals are at their highest level in more than 20 years and it’s not just because of COVID-19.
For the last four months, $800 million worth of construction has been approved each month, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
That money is spread between more than 19,000 construction and renovation projects across the nation.
Director of Construction Statistics at the ABS Daniel Rossi says approvals for private houses have surged 15.8 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms, and even private-sector dwelling approvals have increased since this time last year.
“Federal and state housing stimulus measures and low-interest rates have resulted in strong demand for detached dwellings,” he says.
“Total dwellings approved rose 10.9 per cent in December.”
Private house renovation approvals in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia all reached record highs.
While Victoria saw the largest number of approvals – more than a quarter of the nationwide approval number – the biggest increase was definitely in Tasmania.
Tasmania saw a 66.5 per cent increase in dwelling approvals in December, meaning the apple isle’s property market is something to keep an eye on.
The ABS says that coronavirus has had a short term impact on building approval numbers, but the overall increases would be present even without it.
Commonwealth Bank Chief Economist Stephen Halmarick agrees, saying their data shows widespread improvement in spending intentions and an increase in property prices on the horizon.
“Our view remains that the Australian economic recovery from the Covid-19 recession is well underway,” Mr Halmarick says.