Weakness in the multi-units sector continues to stifle the housing recovery in Australia, according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA).
HIA senior economist Ben Phillips said that the August result reflected the continued dichotomy between a stronger detached housing market, buoyed by the first home owners grant, and a very weak multi-units sector which continues to be hit by finance difficulties.
The number of multi-unit approvals dropped 10.9 per cent in August to 2,992, while approvals in the detached house sector grew 3.1 per cent to 8,880.
“Multi-unit approvals have plunged by a third over the past 12 months, with New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland all being hit particularly hard,” Mr Phillips said.
“It will be important to see further signs in coming months of a broadening home building recovery encompassing detached and non-detached dwellings, first time and trade-up buyers, investors, and social housing.”
The number of seasonally adjusted residential dwelling approvals increased in August by 19.7 per cent in New South Wales, 1.7 per cent in Queensland, 14.9 per cent in South Australia, 1.3 per cent in Western Australia, and 26.6 per cent in Tasmania.
Dwelling approvals fell by 9.4 per cent in Victoria, 5.2 per cent in the Northern Territory and 3.4 in the Australian Capital Territory.