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Building approvals continue COVID recovery



The latest building approval figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have shown that the nation’s total approvals have increased by 38 per cent between June and November 2020.

According to the ABS, national total dwellings approval figures strengthened by a further 3 per cent in November, signifying the bounce back from June 2020’s COVID-19 impacts is recovering.

Western Australia and Queensland once again recorded the highest improvement, with approvals up 17 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.

New house sales reached a 20-year high of 11,712 — up by 6 per cent from October due to the HomeBuilder program.

Apartment approvals dropped by 4 per cent to 5493.

BIS Oxford Economics Principal Economist Tim Hibbert said HomeBuilder is expected to continue to see improvements into the first quarter of 2021.

“The HomeBuilder program has been extended three months at a lower rate of $15,000 for contracts signed in the new year,” he said.

“Whilst a step down, this will see cumulative incentives remain elevated in Q1 2021 in most regions.

“Combine with sub 2 per cent p.a. fix rate mortgages, positive price growth having returned to all major markets, and a brightening employment market outlook, it is expected that new house approvals will hold at an elevated level through the first half of 2021.”

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