After several months of decline, total building approvals finally increased in March 2011, new research has found.
According to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, total residential building approvals increased by 9.1 per cent in March 2011 although they were down by 8.9 per cent over the quarter.
Total approvals in the three months to March 2011 are 15.8 per cent lower than in the corresponding period one year earlier.
“Today’s numbers are driven by a significant rise in approvals in the highly volatile private sector other dwellings segment which were up by 26.1 per cent in March. However, detached dwelling approvals went backwards, falling by 1.3 per cent in the month,” Housing Industry Association senior economist Andrew Harvey said.
"Although detached housing approvals have fallen again, it is good to see at least some positive news in the apartment sector. Nevertheless, we are conscious that the March increase in approvals follows two months of double-digit falls.
“Furthermore, it is unclear as to what extent we will see these other dwelling approvals flow through to building starts. With ongoing tight credit conditions and stagnant residential prices there is a real risk that even though approved, a larger number than usual of these projects may not proceed.”