Residential construction through the roof

Building approvals have risen to a 20-year high and are up almost 15 per cent on an annual basis.

There were 17,062 unit dwellings approved in October, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. That marks a 2.5 per cent rise on the previous year.

Private sector house approvals jumped 12.7 per cent to 9,380, while approvals for private sector dwellings excluding houses fell 7.0 per cent to 7,532.

A total of 197,530 new dwellings were approved for the 12 months to 31 October 2014 – 14.8 per cent up on the previous 12-month period.

Master Builders Australia chief economist Peter Jones said the latest figures confirm that residential construction activity is continuing to expand.

"This residential building cycle needs to be stronger and longer for the sake of undersupplied industry and an economy in transition," he said.

"However, some of the shine can still come off this positive outlook if policy reforms to tackle barriers to increased supply – including local constrained land release, inefficient taxes and charges and council red and green tape – are not implemented."

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